Kevin Rodgers: Deutsche’s rock refugee

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The path to success in investment banking these days is pretty much preordained: top university, first-class degree, ball-breaking spell as an intern, some sort of post-grad qualification and no time for any outside interests.

So it’s nice when you discover it doesn’t have to be that way.


Kevin Rodgers is global head of foreign exchange at Deutsche Bank. But before he got into finance, he had a brief but successful career as a rock musician.

Well, we say rock, but his former band, the Happy Refugees, were described by one music website as having "a unique blend of quirky, DIY garage-pop, shambling post-punk and delicate introspection...wrote brilliant songs, had a unique and well-defined aesthetic and an underlying sense of poetry that ran through everything it did."

That was in 1984. You can spot a then-hirsute Rodgers in the photo below, fourth from the left. A couple of years ago, their mini-LP The Last Chance Saloon was re-released, prompting Rodgers and his bandmates to get together in late 2011 for a couple of reunion gigs in New York. There’s apparently a second album on the way, 30 years later.

Rodgers’ talents don’t end there – he’s also an accomplished opera singer.

And if you’re not familiar with the Happy Refugees’ oeuvre, then you might recognize the song "Papa’s got a brand new pigbag", by Pigbag. It’s a staple tune today from football terraces to nightclubs. It’s probably the second most recognizable instrumental tune from the early 1980s after the theme tune to Chariots of Fire, and a lot better to dance to.

 

Rodgers played as a session musician on the Pigbag recording. He told us: "If only I got royalties every time that song got played!"

Kevin, mate, we think you’re probably doing quite well enough as head of the world’s biggest foreign exchange house...