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On the death of Anshu Jain: The procrastinating banker


He shaped investment banking into Deutsche Bank's profit machine, and later it became the epicenter of countless scandals. Now Anshu Jain has passed away.

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Anshu Jain (right) with co-boss Jürgen Fitschen in 2015


Anshu Jain was co-head of Deutsche Bank for a short time. The former manager has now died at the age of 59 after a serious illness.

This was announced by the money house on Saturday afternoon.

Jain started at Deutsche Bank in 1995, rose through the ranks and led the highly profitable investment banking business for many years.

For example, he was responsible for the "Global Markets" department, which, according to the "Handelsblatt", he formed into a "jewel of the institute".

With the global financial crisis, however, Jain's long streak came to an end: In 2008, Deutsche Bank reported a loss of around four billion euros for the first time in its history - with Jain's investment banking division burdening the balance sheet with a deficit of almost nine billion euros.

Nevertheless, together with co-boss Jürgen Fitschen, he inherited the retiring bank boss Josef Ackermann.

But soon after taking office, the question of Jain's personal responsibility for the manipulation of Libor interest rates arose.

Finally, an agreement was reached with British and American authorities.

Deutsche Bank paid a fine of 2.3 billion euros.

The Bafin found that Jain knew nothing about the manipulations, but that he created the culture that would have made such manipulations possible in the first place.

Mathematically versed, but unsure

Jain's personality differed greatly from the image that the public had of him.

He was portrayed as a badass trader who ruthlessly entered into any trade.

In fact, Jain was mathematically adept, he could make risk calculations at lightning speed to estimate the probability of failure of complex financial products.

At the same time, however, he was regarded internally as insecure and latently weak in decision-making.

“First I have to ask Paul” was one of his standard phrases when he had to make tough decisions as CEO – like whether Deutsche Bank should put their unloved daughter up for sale (which Jain did but later dismissed).

Paul, that was Paul Achleitner, his supervisory board chairman and the most important contact person at that time.

In face-to-face conversation, Jain seemed remarkably reserved, almost shy;

he was extremely uncomfortable with confrontational questions.

He was alien to the German public right from the start, denying early rumors that he was learning German – he simply didn’t have the time for that.

»The best man for the job«

The fact that Jain became CEO was justified by the fact that the group's tin crackers, who were never at a loss for a creative communication volte, said that he was the best man for the job, precisely because he knew exactly where the biggest risks of the bank lay.

After all, he himself has worked long enough in investment banking, the epicenter of all the scandals that have cost the bank tens of billions in fines.

After leaving Deutsche Bank, Jain initially worked in the fintech industry and was hired by the Californian start-up »Social Finance«.

He then switched back to the classic financial industry: He became president of Cantor Fitzgerald, a New York investment house.

In January 2020, Jain attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he seemed recovered and seemed to have overcome his serious illness.

People who were close to him, however, report that he has suffered constant severe pain since then.

He should not survive the last diagnosed relapse.

Jain died on Saturday night.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-08-13

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