How Deutsche Bank Hired Its Way to the Top in China - 2 minutes read

How Deutsche Bank Hired Its Way to the Top in China

“These events date back as far as 2002 and have been dealt with,” the statement said.

Here are six takeaways from the investigation.

Like other investment banks, Deutsche Bank learned early on that relationships were crucial to securing deals in China, particularly with the Communist Party elite who controlled most of the country’s assets.

Joseph Ackermann, who led Deutsche Bank from 2002 to 2012, turned to Lee Zhang, who had been running the Beijing office of a rival, Goldman Sachs, to help play catch-up. When Mr. Zhang joined Deutsche Bank, he quickly moved to get the bank a seat at the table for some of the biggest public offerings of China’s state-owned companies.

Mr. Zhang led a fast turnaround. Two years after having had virtually no presence in China, Mr. Ackermann was meeting with China’s president at the time, Jiang Zemin. The bank also footed the bill for golfing sojourns with high-profile guests, including the son of Wen Jiabao, then China’s premier.

“He introduced me to all sorts of people,” Mr. Ackermann said in an interview.

By 2006, Deutsche Bank played a leading role in the initial public offering of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest offering at the time. This not only brought the bank a windfall, but also gave it fresh bragging rights in China. By 2011, it topped Bloomberg’s rankings for banks managing initial public offerings in China and Asia, outside of Japan.

Source: The New York Times

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