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Moreau exit shows tough road ahead for European banks’ asset management hopes

The sacking of DWS’s chief executive barely six months after its IPO shows that asset management might not be the great hope for a firm like Deutsche Bank.

Nicolas Moreau’s summary replacement as the head of Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm today is just the latest sign of pressures facing Europe’s asset managers, especially those with global ambitions.

European banks are increasingly turning to asset management to shore up their returns, as the business requires less capital than more traditional banking activities. Deutsche Bank is a case in point, with asset management core to Christian Sewing’s plan to reduce the firm’s reliance on more volatile investment banking and markets revenues, the latter being businesses where it is even harder for Europeans to compete.

DWS_Moreau, Nicolas-160x186 

Nicolas Moreau 

DWS’s IPO this March should have drawn useful attention to this valuable part of Deutsche’s franchise. It is one of the few areas in which the bank has a commanding market share in Germany, about 25%. 

However, poor performing funds in Germany contributed to outflows in the second quarter, further weighing on a share price that has steadily declined since the IPO. At the same time, Deutsche’s market share and image is much less robust in the US than Germany.

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