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All change at Deutsche Bank

Fund management and custody

It has been a month of changes at Deutsche Bank as it repositions its business and brings in new people.

Its first announcement involved the sale of its custody business to State Street. This was not a great surprise to the market, which had long expected the news, though some people may have been blindsided by the eventual acquirer. Names such as Mellon had been thought to be in the frame.

At press time the deal was still in the discussion stage but it is not expected to fall through. State Street's statement said it would report on the outcome of the discussions when concluded. That would suggest the ball is in its court, just where it would want it to be.

What makes the deal certain, though, is that Deutsche has also decided to offload its passive asset management division to Northern Trust. Passive management and custody businesses go hand in hand.

The sale involves $120 billion of global passive equity, enhanced equity and passive fixed-income assets and is costing Northern in the region of $260 million.

Tom Hughes, Deutsche's global head of asset management, says the move is part of the bank's overall strategy of focusing on its core competencies.

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