In theory, Deutsche Bank’s technology division is a revitalised place that’s moved on from its reputation of being ultra-dysfunctional. In reality, Deutsche Bank keeps hiring senior technology people who keep leaving again.
The latest fleeting DB tech recruit was John Smith. Smith joined Deutsche Bank as head of group architecture from NatWest Markets in March 2021. Four months later, he’s leaving again, seemingly for a role in a fintech.
Smith didn’t respond to a request to comment, and Deutsche Bank declined to comment on his exit.
A highly experienced banking technologist, Smith was quite a catch for Deutsche Bank. He was CIO at NatWest Markets and previously spent two years as a managing director and head of European equities technology at Citigroup, two years in a similar role at Barclays, and nearly 13 years in trading IT at UBS.
Smith isn’t the first senior tech person to make an unexpected retreat from Deutsche Bank. Last June, Neal Pawar, the group chief information officer, left after eight months. In March 2021, Pawar joined Qontigo, a fintech, as COO.
Historically, Deutsche Bank was known for having a teetering technology system based on a mass of disparate code. However, it has been upgrading and simplifying this and says it’s recruiting higher calibre technology staff following its partnership with Google. The German bank has also implemented a new risk and pricing system, and notably managed to avoid a large loss during the Archegos meltdown.
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