By Jenny Strasburg
Two of Deutsche Bank AG's top New York deal makers are poised to leave the embattled lender ahead of impending deep cuts to its Wall Street investment bank, according to people familiar with the matter.
The veteran bankers, Mark Hantho and John Eydenberg, are in advanced negotiations to join Citigroup Inc., the people said. They would be the most prominent departures from the German lender's U.S. investment-banking operations this year.
Both bankers have long-established relationships with corporate executives and private-equity firms from years of competing with other banks to run initial public offerings and finance buyouts. Departures of senior bankers can trigger others to leave, amplifying the blow. Such exits are already a risk at Deutsche Bank, where strategy is in flux and questions about senior management won't die.
No deal with Citigroup was final as of Tuesday afternoon, but a decision could be made this week in one or both cases. Messrs. Hantho and Eydenberg declined to comment through a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman. Bank managers have said they are still hiring and remain committed to the U.S. business.
But bankers and traders are facing prolonged uncertainty over Deutsche Bank's plans to dismantle large portions of its equities operations and other parts of the investment bank. Senior managers have signaled intentions to cut businesses but haven't spelled out exactly when or what they will ax.
As a result, concern and confusion are gripping the lender, according to employees and competitors -- and not just in the U.S.
In New York, Mr. Hantho has been central to Deutsche Bank's role in share offerings and equities-advisory work for more than a decade. He has a dual global role coordinating securities underwriting across all regions, with the title of chairman of global investment banking and capital markets coverage.
Mr. Eydenberg has longtime relationships with private-equity firms, among them Apollo Global Management LLC, and is one of the lead bankers in Deutsche Bank's relationship with Japanese technology giant SoftBank Group Corp., people close to the bank said. Investment banks are clamoring for pieces of SoftBank's business as it aims to raise a second $100 billion Vision Fund while taking on debt to fund a wave of startup investments.
Mr. Eydenberg has been with Deutsche Bank since 2001, and Mr. Hantho since 2006.
In London this week, senior equities banker Edward Sankey quit after almost 15 years at Deutsche Bank to take over as global head of equity capital markets at HSBC Holdings PLC., according to people close to the bank. Such departures contrast with Deutsche Bank's stated goal of maintaining a global network of seasoned deal makers to advise European companies on mergers and underwriting of stocks and bonds.
One risk that concerns investors is that planned cutbacks erode more client relationships and investment bank revenues than intended. That could backfire on the lender's efforts to cut costs and money-losing businesses while strengthening stronger ones, over time stabilizing profits.
Write to Jenny Strasburg at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 18, 2019 15:07 ET (19:07 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.