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Deutsche Bank's $14m man may not be in Singapore

When Deutsche Bank published its annual report last week, it revealed that someone among its 1,218 material risk-takers received an enormous bonus for 2023.

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The highest paid individual outside of Deutsche's top executive team was paid between €13m ($14m) and €14m last year. As the chart below shows, Deutsche Bank had not been as generous since 2019. 

Who was the lucky recipient of this largesse? Deutsche Bank declined to comment, but there are a number of potential candidates. The individual concerned almost certainly works in credit trading, where Deutsche Bank said it had "strong growth" last year. The unidentified person earned more than every member of Deutsche's executive board: CEO Christian Sewing and CFO James Von Moltke earned €8.9m and €7.1m respectively.

Chetankumar Shah

Based in Singapore, Chetan Shah, a trader in his mid-50s, is Deutsche Bank's head of global credit trading and financing. He runs a team of around 100 people and has a reputation as one of the bank's biggest moneymakers. Deutsche said distressed credit did especially well in 2023, and this is Shah's specialty. Shah is the only global head of credit trading at a major bank to be based in Asia. 

Gavin Colquhoun

Like Shah, Colquhoun is a big distressed debt trader. He's worked for Deutsche Bank since 2002 and is head of European credit trading for the bank. Colquhoun joined Deutsche Bank's distressed business in 2004, became European distressed head in 2009, before taking over European credit flow trading as well in 2016.

Ram Nayak

Ram Nayak is the prime candidate for the $11m payout. Nayak is head of Deutsche Bank's fixed income and currencies trading business, which contains both Shah and Colquhoun and is co-head of the investment bank. He's worked there since 2012, when he joined from Credit Suisse where he was global head of emerging markets. 

Kemel Askar

London-based Kemel Askar is global head of rates trading for Deutsche Bank. There's an off-chance that he could have been last year's highest earner. However, it seems unlikely as rates and FX revenues declined at DB in 2023.

Chris Leonard 

New York-based Chris Leonard is Deutsche Bank's US head of rates. He joined from Barclays in 2021, after three and a half years as head of macro trading at the British bank.

While Leonard is a potential contender, he's also not the most likely candidate due to the decline in rates revenues last year.

Riddhi Barman

Riddhi Barman joined Deutsche Bank nearly 21 years ago and has stayed. He's currently co-head of fixed income for the Americas and co-head of FIC structuring. He's thought to be a contender, although he may also be several slots below $11m on the chart above. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • FL
    20 March 2024

    The hundreds of employees the company laid off weeks after Christmas I’m sure love reading articles on these employees reaching million dollar bonuses while they’re still looking for employment.

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