The recent history of Deutsche Bank cannot be written without an analysis of Anshu Jain's work.

For many years, Jain embodied the investment banking of a Deutsche Bank that had set out to compete with the American giants of the business.

His career had also started in America.

At the same time, Jain, who came from India, kept his British nationality and a very British appearance that went far beyond his enthusiasm for sports such as cricket and polo.

Gerald Braunberger


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Young Jain was fortunate to find a mentor at Merrill Lynch in New York in American investment banker Edson Mitchell, who later joined Jain at Deutsche Bank in London, where the two men helped turn the bank's big investment banking ambitions into reality to implement action.

Above all, Jain drove the expansion of the bank in the bond and interest business, which developed into a money machine in the first years after the turn of the millennium and strengthened the perception of the management board in Frankfurt that they were on the right track.

In 2009, Jain was appointed to the Group Board of Directors;

a year later he assumed responsibility for all investment banking.

By this time at the latest, Deutsche Bank was going in the wrong direction.

After the financial crisis, other major European banks, such as Switzerland's UBS, reduced their investment banking presence, but Deutsche Bank stayed the course because Jain, backed by the profits of his division, had become far too strong.

After an attempt failed to establish the former Bundesbank President Axel Weber as the successor to the outgoing CEO Josef Ackermann, the supervisory board installed Jain and the experienced German manager Jürgen Fitschen as dual leaders on the board.

Dwindling glamor of investment banking and scandals of all kinds

At the time, the perception both inside and outside the bank was that Fitschen should maintain contacts with politicians and companies in Germany and otherwise slow down Jain's attempts to align the bank even more closely with global investment banking.

Meanwhile, as the new chairman of the board of directors of UBS, Weber began to turn the major bank from Zurich upside down.

A difficult time began for Deutsche Bank.

Ackermann had actually wanted to leave earlier and, like Clemens Börsig, the chairman of the supervisory board at the time, ended up staying too long.

As in the old days, Jain and Fitschen still looked primarily at earnings potential, long after the bank should have been managed on the cost side.

With the waning luster of investment banking, scandals of all kinds began to surface in this area, which the bank had to grapple with for years.

Their processing not only cost a lot of money, but also a lot of reputation.

Jain shared responsibility

When Jain and Fitschen started a half-hearted attempt to get costs under control in the spring of 2015, it was far too late.

The failure of the management duo, who resigned a short time later, became clear at the latest at the annual general meeting in the Frankfurt Festhalle.

Jain left the bank, while Fitschen made himself available again for a transitional period alongside new co-chairman John Cryan.

Jain shared responsibility for the weal and woe of Deutsche Bank at that time.

But it would be wrong to call him the sole culprit for all evils.

He was the prominent exponent of a strategy developed in Frankfurt.

He was a driver as well as a driven person, and if Frankfurt lost control of important parts of the bank over time, the reason lies not least in decisions made on the Main.

And as long as things went well, the billions earned by Jain's people were also welcome to those in-house critics who grumbled about the Americanization of Deutsche Bank on Freßgasse in Frankfurt.

Expectations in the scene that Jain would quickly return to the top of another large financial house were not fulfilled.

In 2017 he took on a role at the medium-sized American house Cantor Fitzgerald and was involved in conservation projects.

Even then there was talk of a serious illness.

Anshu Jain passed away on Saturday at the age of 59.