Credit traders are leaving Deutsche Bank as compensation squeezed

Employee exits at Deutsche Bank aren’t a new phenomena — there’s been a steady stream of them since the struggling firm announced last summer it would cut 18,000 jobs and sell off its stock-trading business as it tries to stem billions in losses.

At least initially, Deutsche executives planned to not only spare its profitable investment-banking business lines in the US, but to lean into them.

But the credit-trading group, a perennial top competitor which includes the firm’s vaunted distressed-debt desk, has experienced a rash of departures in the US in 2020 as executives angled to cut costs and squeezed compensation, according to conversations with six sources familiar with the firm’s trading operations who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The exits have cleaved 25{5667a53774e7bc9e4190cccc01624aae270829869c681dac1da167613dca7d05} of the headcount in the firm’s vaunted US-based distressed-credit group, and have hit high-yield, investment-grade, and loan trading as well.

This all has left the firm short-handed during one of the most active and volatile credit-trading markets in the past decade — one in which competitors are producing record-breaking fixed-income trading results.

The firm meanwhile has active searches underway to hire in distressed, high-yield, and investment-grade trading, sources said.

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