Santander has hired away Deutsche Bank’s U.S. chief, Christiana Riley, the Spanish bank announced Wednesday.
Riley will serve as Santander’s regional head of North America — overseeing operations in the U.S. and Mexico — starting Oct. 1, the bank said.
Riley’s departure, set for May 17, is just one of several moves that make up Deutsche’s largest management shuffle in years.
Deutsche announced last week that its co-deputy CEO, Karl von Rohr, is not renewing his contract once his term on the bank’s board expires in October.
That means CFO James von Moltke, the bank’s other co-deputy CEO, will take on oversight of asset management, which includes DWS, Deutsche said Wednesday.
“It is time to focus the management board on the next phase of the bank's growth strategy, which is now more than ever about sustainable profitability, efficiency and effective controls," Deutsche’s chair, Alex Wynaendts, said Wednesday.
But the bank isn’t stopping at top-level change. Deutsche plans to cut about 800 senior back-office employees to offset a slowdown in trading, Bloomberg and Reuters reported Thursday.
The headcount reduction is meant to save the bank €500 million ($553 million) annually by 2025. But Deutsche said it expects to take roughly €500 million in charges for severance and other expenses this year.
Deutsche embarked in 2019 on a three-year raft of cuts encompassing 18,000 jobs, so it’s no stranger to right-sizing.
“We need to further speed up and that's what we are doing," Deutsche CEO Christian Sewing said Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Fixed-income trading dropped 17% during the first quarter, the bank announced in earnings Thursday. But revenue at Deutsche’s corporate bank increased 35%, according to Bloomberg.
Stefan Simon, Deutsche’s chief administrative officer who oversees its legal and compliance operations, will additionally take responsibility for its Americas portfolio in Riley's stead and relocate to New York, the bank said.
Among Simon’s primary tasks will be meeting regulatory requirements and establishing "a state-of-the-art risk and controls culture,” Deutsche said.
Wynaendts on Wednesday praised Riley for having “successfully repositioned the bank’s Americas business, sustainably improved relations with important local stakeholder groups and achieved remarkable success in strengthening the culture in the region.”
Riley’s departure, though, trims Deutsche’s board from 10 members to nine and leaves it with just one woman, according to Reuters. Claudio de Sanctis will join the board, filling von Rohr’s seat, but the bank won’t fill Riley’s, it appears. De Sanctis will assume responsibility for Deutsche’s private bank by November, the bank said Wednesday.
For her part, Santander's chair, Ana Botín, said she was “delighted” to add Riley to the Spanish bank’s team.
“She has an outstanding background and a strong track record, and I’m confident she will play an important role as we continue to support our customers and leverage the collective strength of the group across the region.”
Riley is a 17-year veteran of Deutsche, serving previously as CFO and co-CEO of the bank’s corporate and investment banking division.