'Shaving the headcount is an opportunity:' a top executive at Deutsche Bank explains a shakeup in its tech strategy

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'Shaving the headcount is an opportunity:' a top executive at Deutsche Bank explains a shakeup in its tech strategy

Deutsche Bank

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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  • Deutsche Bank is reportedly cutting 10% of its staff in the US, but is looking to beef up certain areas.
  • Business Insider recently sat down with James Gibson, a Wall Street veteran and ice cream entrepreneur, who joined Deutsche Bank earlier this year as a CIO in its corporate and investment bank.
  • Gibson described a smaller headcount as an opportunity for the bank and said it is looking to bring more engineers in-house.

Deutsche Bank may be trimming its staff in the US, but some executives at the German lender say this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Business Insider recently sat down with James Gibson, a Wall Street veteran and ice cream entrepreneur, who joined Deutsche earlier this year as CIO for client and digital for the corporate and investment bank. Gibson described a smaller headcount as an opportunity for the firm.

"Shaving the headcount is an opportunity for us to become more agile and nimble," Gibson said. "Having smaller teams of in-house engineers, working closely with sponsors in the business and the operations and the other support functions is the model that is going to be so much more efficient for us and so much more valuable for us and our clients."

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Soon after Christian Sewing replaced John Cryan as chief executive officer in April, the bank announced plans to scale back US operations. The firm may be cutting its headcount of 10,000 staff in the US by 10%, according to reports.

Still, Gibson said the bank is looking to recruit more engineers to the CIB team as it brings more of its engineering in-house and relies less on third party vendors.

Gibson says Deutsche is also trying to get clients to work with the bank through more digital channels, which will hopefully make communication more seamless.

The majority of Gibson's career has been spent at banks, including JPMorgan, Societe Generale, HBSC, and UBS. However, he took a detour and also led the Hong Kong unit of ice cream company Emack & Bolio's in 2015.

Deutsche Bank in February reported a full-year loss of $586 million for 2017, its third straight year of losses.

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Analysts at Barclays warned in May that Deutsche's cost-cutting efforts may be in vain, writing in a note that it expects the German bank "to struggle to achieve its cost-cutting targets."

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