Rebranding of a rebrand: Deutsche changes global fund offering ahead of IPO

The institutional and wholesale asset management wing of Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Asset Management, will merge into its main retail offering, DWS in Q1 2018, ahead of Deutsche Asset Management’s planned stock market listing in March 2018.

The new structure reverses and earlier name change in 2012, which aimed to reduce the influence of the DWS brand on the asset management division, with DWS being focussed on the German retail market and the name of Deutsche being pushed for the asset management division covering the wholesale and institutional market.

Nicolas Moreau, current head of Deutsche AM commented on the changes: “Our new global brand DWS draws on our roots in the German market, going back over 60 years, and a name that is distinct in our industry globally. It stands for stability, a strong track record and for values we have continuously lived up to: excellence, entrepreneurship, sustainability and integrity. Values that will remain central to our future success.”

As part of the rebrand, Deutsche AM will operate within the German legal structure of a GmbH & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien (KGaA), a form of limited partnership which restricts the influence of minority shareholders.

The KGaA structure is an unusual legal framework for German firms which was historically more common among family businesses and private banks, as it allows for personal liability of their owners. The framework distinguishes between general partners of the firm (Komplementäre) which are personally liable, and limited partners (Kommanditaktionären), which will raise the initial capital for the group.

Following a court ruling in the late 1990’s, the definition of general partners has been expanded to encompass limited liability companies (GmbH), thereby reducing the liability of natural persons in the framework. As a result, the number of KGaA’s has been growing gradually over the years.

Other examples of listed DAX firms under a KGaA structure are chemical and consumer goods firm Henkel, chemical firm Merck and pharma firm Fresenius. Banks which hold the structure are Metzler,  Hauck & Aufhäuser and Sal. Oppenheim.

For Deutsche Bank, the framework could be beneficial ahead of it’s planned IPO of the asset management division in March 2018, the group aims to raise €2bn by listing a quarter of the business.

As a result of the new legal structure, Deutsche Bank could hold less than three quarter of the shares and still retain a controlling influence.” This structure will enable operational autonomy for Deutsche AM to support its growth ambitions while giving Deutsche Bank continued oversight to meet its regulatory requirements” the group said.

The rebranding also comes with a number of personnel changes. The designated managing directors are Nicolas Moreau, the current head of Deutsche AM will become CEO and chairman of the Managing Directors and  Claire Peel who takes on the role of CFO while Jon Eilbeck becomes COO. Nikolaus von Tippelskirch takes on the role of Chief Control Officer and Stefan Kreuzkamp continues in his role as CIO and co head of the Investment Group alongside Pierre Cherki. Bob Kendall has been appointed as co-head, Global Coverage Group alongsideThorsten. Half of the management team, including the CEO, will be based in Frankfurt.

Deutsche Asset Management currently has €711bn in assets under mangement.

Mona Dohle
Mona Dohle speaks German and Dutch, she is DACH & Benelux Correspondent for InvestmentEurope. Prior to that, she worked as a journalist in Egypt and Palestine. She started her career as a journalist working for a local German newspaper. Mona graduated with an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS and has completed the CISI Certificate in International Wealth and Investment Management.

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