new York It was an emotional moment for Christian Sewing. The head of Deutsche Bank rang the closing bell on Tuesday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This marks the 20th anniversary of the bank’s listing in New York. The Frankfurt Institute was the first company to be listed on the NYSE after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
But Sewing also marks the end of an era. The bank is leaving its American headquarters on Wall Street and moving to the Midtown office district. This makes it the last large institute to leave the narrow street with its many tall office towers that has become known as the center of world finance.
“The USA is the second most important market for us after Germany,” he emphasizes on the US stock exchange broadcaster CNCB. And the investment in the new building on Columbus Circle with a view of Central Park is a clear commitment to the city and to the American business, which Deutsche Bank has shrunk considerably in recent years.
The original Deutsche Bank headquarters in New York was destroyed after the terrorist attacks, so the bank moved into the tower at 60 Wall Street. But it has now become too big and urgently needs to be renovated.
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“We believe in the resilience of this city,” said Sewing. New York is coming out of the pandemic more slowly than other cities, crime has risen, as has homelessness. And while restaurants are significantly more crowded than they were a few months ago, it is taking longer than expected for employees to return to the offices.
The new headquarters, which the bank rents from the property developer Related, was recently renovated and adapted again during the pandemic in order to offer employees as many opportunities as possible for personal encounters. The towers in which Time Warner used to sit are now called Deutsche Bank Center. There are table tennis tables and a pool table. One bar is called “Der Bulle”, one “Der Bär”. The trading floors have large plant walls. In the canteen there is pizza from the wood-fired oven, among other things. For weeks, employees have been sharing selfies on LinkedIn from the large roof terrace, which is known for its spectacular view of Central Park. 1000 employees have already moved, the rest should follow in the coming months.
Sewing, who has been running the bank since 2018 and has worked there for over 30 years, hit the floor on a day of records. Bitcoin, the largest and oldest cryptocurrency, hit a new all-time high of just under $ 67,000 on Wednesday. The leading index Dow Jones reached a new intraday record. The day before, the first Bitcoin futures ETF had successfully started trading. With Sewing on the floor, among other things, supervisory board chairman Paul Achleiter and America boss Christiana Riley.
Sewing sees itself “on schedule” with the restructuring of the bank, this applies not only to investment banking, which is benefiting from a boom in the capital markets, but also to all other areas. “For the next twelve months we want to concentrate entirely on ourselves and put our house in order,” emphasized Sewing. After that, he would not rule out mergers with other European banks – although he would approach the issue very cautiously, if at all.
The bank would closely monitor rising inflation rates. Sewing does not assume that the price increases are only a temporary phenomenon. Talks with the bank’s corporate customers also confirmed that. The CEO believes “We are facing a decade of higher volatility in the financial markets. That doesn’t have to be bad. As a bank, you just have to manage your risk accordingly. “
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