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Deutsche Bank appoints Citigroup’s von Moltke as CFO

Deutsche Bank said on Friday that it had appointed Citigroup treasurer James von Moltke as its new chief financial officer.

Germany’s biggest lender has been looking for a new finance director since it announced last month that Marcus Schenck would take on a new dual role as co-head of the investment bank and joint deputy chief executive.

Citi declined to comment on the news, which was first reported by Handelsblatt, while Mr von Moltke did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr von Moltke — a descendent of the Prussian general Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, as well as Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, who led a resistance group against Adolf Hitler — will join Deutsche in July as it is in the midst of a radical restructuring, and rival bankers warned that he faced a challenging task.

“It’s hard to be CFO of Deutsche Bank,” said the CFO of another European bank.

However, analysts said that Mr von Moltke’s appointment was a good move. “Von Moltke looks like a safe pair of hands,” said Christopher Wheeler, analyst at Atlantic Equities. “Schenck was a banker . . . having a really solid numbers man rather than an investment banker makes a lot of sense.”

Deutsche completed an €8bn capital increase earlier this month — its third since 2013 — and announced at the same time that it would once again rejig its divisional structure.

Deutsche‘s corporate banking and markets businesses will be recombined under the leadership of Mr Schenck and Garth Ritchie, head of global markets. And Deutsche will keep Postbank, rather than selling it off as it had previously planned, and integrate it into its own retail banking division. The combined business will be run by Christian Sewing and Frank Strauss.

The rejig is part of chief executive John Cryan’s drive to restore the bank to profitability after it racked up billions of euros of losses in 2015 and 2016.

As well as the divisional reshuffle, Deutsche is also in the middle of a cost-cutting drive, and Mr Cryan said that Mr von Moltke’s “widespread experience in strategic planning and proven success in reshaping a multinational financial services company” would help Deutsche “reduce the complexity of our bank further”.

Mr von Moltke joined Citi in 2009 as head of corporate mergers and acquisitions, and in this role oversaw the sale of more than 60 of Citi’s businesses and assets. He subsequently headed its financial planning and analysis unit, before becoming treasurer in 2015.

Before joining Citi, Mr von Moltke worked in Morgan Stanley’s corporate finance practice, and previously had various roles at JPMorgan and Credit Suisse. He holds a BA from Oxford university and is a dual German and Australian national.

Via FT