Cohrs to Jain: it can be complex
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Cohrs to Jain: it can be complex

Michael Cohrs (l) with Deutsche COO Hermann-Josef Lamberti: “I’m proud that we stayed the course and made it happen”. Michael Cohrs (l) with Deutsche COO Hermann-Josef Lamberti: "I’m proud that we stayed the course and made it happen".

As Michael Cohrs retires as head of investment banking at Deutsche Bank, he leaves a flourishing M&A advisory business to complement the bank’s top-three trading businesses. It’s astonishing to see this outcome and think back 15 years to his arrival with colleague Maurice Thompson from SG Warburg. Deutsche Bank had just been given the IPO mandate to privatize Deutsche Telekom but had no idea how to do the deal. Cohrs and Thompson came across to execute it in the wake of a failed attempt to engineer a takeover of Warburg by Morgan Stanley.

It was a challenge just to get the Deutsche Telekom deal done. The German bank was more of a private-equity-style shareholder in the London-based investment bank than a true partner in what it was doing. Sometimes relations were quite antagonistic. The mood was usually gloomy and strained. "Back then, few took us seriously as a global investment bank," Cohrs says. "Now no one thinks of us as anything else.

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