Deutsche Bank’s overhaul of its compliance team in Asia involves the departure of seven director-level employees, according to a source close to the firm. Karen Wu, Kien-Pin Chen, and Desmond Lim have just left the German lender, in addition to the exits of their colleagues Kok Siang Wee and Yen Giang, which we reported on earlier this week.
The bank declined to comment, while none of the compliance professionals replied to requests to comment. We understand that all seven directors left on 20 November.
Wu was head of anti-financial crime (AFC) for Hong Kong (her Singapore-based AFC counterpart Wee was among the departures we noted earlier). Wu was promoted into her role in September 2017 after joining DB in 2014 as a money laundering reporting officer. She previously spent just under four years at PwC in London, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Chen was head of sanctions and embargoes in Deutsche’s Singapore office, a role he held for five years. He moved to DB from OCBC in March 2013 as regional sanctions quality assurance officer. Chen worked for the Monetary Authority of Singapore between 2009 and 2011.
Lim also worked for Deutsche in Singapore and was in a regulatory, governance and enforcement role. He joined the bank in 2011 from DBS, where he’d been group surveillance head (regional) for financial crime security services.
We understand that their departures were part of the global restructuring that Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing announced in July, which involves 18,000 job cuts across the bank over the next three years. The programme includes realigning infrastructure functions (such as compliance) with the front office to strengthen productivity and cost efficiency.
In May, Deutsche also announced the merger of compliance and AFC with non-financial risk management, but assured employees that it would not make any sacrifices within its control functions. “On the contrary, we can and will further improve them,” Sewing said, in a message to staff.
While Deutsche has culled expensive senior compliance employees, it does not appear to be cutting back in the function at a rank-and-file level in Asia. The firm’s careers site has five compliance vacancies in Hong Kong, and four in Singapore, most of which are at AVP or VP rank. The Singapore roles are all in anti-financial crime.
As we’ve been reporting in recent weeks, Deutsche in Asia is also hiring in fields such as credit trading, transaction banking, asset management, technology, and private banking.
Image credit: killerbayer
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