Deutsche Bank brings in Zames to help right the ship

Deutsche Bank — in a broadening effort to keep the lights on in its US operations — has agreed to work with NY-based private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management to explore options as a paid advisor.

Cerberus President Matt Zames — once considered by Deutsche to be on short list to replace ex-CEO Jon Cryon and is formerly a C-Suite executive from JPMorgan — is leading the project.

Cerberus holds roughly a 3% stake in Deutsche and a 5% stake in rival German bank Commerzbank. Talk was earlier this year that the two firms should form an alliance since their core businesses have differing strengths. DB on the corporate side and Commerzbank on the retail side in Germany.

New CEO Christian Sewing is struggling to find a palatable solution to the free fall stock price while not retreating from the US.

While neither party is talking merger at this time, Cerberus could push the boards together since PE firms usually have a shorter investment timeline to turn a profit. Shares of Deutsche are off 40% over the last 12 months and is trading at $11.54 here in the US.

 

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Deutsche, Barclays suffering under dark clouds

I have been following Deutsche Bank and Barclays as bellwethers for the troubled uber banks as global interest rates begin to climb.

I have written much about Deutsche Bank’s troubles with Libor manipulation and the strange circumstances of key executives allegedly taking their own lives.

Well, now I see that Barclays has its own strange circumstances for the bank’s Libor executives final demise. More on this in the future.

Over the last year, DB shares are down -21%, while Barclays is down only 3 percent over the same time frame. But Barclays shares followed DB’s downward trend line until very recently.

Barclays CEO Jes Staley had his pay in 2017 cut by 8.5 percent to $5.39 million, the bank reported Thursday morning. We have not seen DB’s Jon Cryon’s compensation package for 2017.

Staley’s 2016 bonus is still under pending the outcome of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) probe into his handling of the whistleblower incident.I am looking into whether one of the strange deaths is connected to this action.

Allegedly Staley ran his own investigation in order to identify the whistleblower.

I’ll be keeping an eye on these two banks to see. But I believe one or both could be this year’s Lehman Bros.