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Deutsche’s Global Investment Banking Boss Looks to the U.S. for Growth

Thanks to a recent management shake-up, Deutsche Bank veteran Jacques Brand recently took over as sole head of investment banking coverage and advisory.

EVERY SATURDAY AND SUNDAY MORNING at 7:00, Jacques Brand spends an hour in a masters swimming program at his local pool in Westchester County, New York. “It’s a great way of relaxing and connecting with friends with a range of different interests outside of investment banking,” says the boss of Deutsche Bank’s global investment banking coverage and advisory. Brand, who also plays basketball with his three sons and has competed in triathlons for 30 years, relies on exercise to unwind from work. In both his athletic and his professional lives, the Deutsche veteran is a good sport.

“He’s not just a terrific client banker, but he is also held in high regard by those who work with and for him,” says Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at New York–based asset manager Blackstone Group and a client of Brand’s for some 15 years. “This is quite an achievement in the competitive world of investment banking.”

Brand assumed his current post in June as part of a top-level shake-up in which his former co-head of investment banking, Stephan Leithner, took over the bank’s human resources, legal and compliance wing. Brand was also named head of corporate finance for the Americas, a division created by new joint chief executives Jürgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain, who replaced Josef Ackermann. He has known Fitschen and Jain for 12 years and worked directly for the latter during the past two. New York–based Brand, 51, belongs to an inner circle that has transformed his firm from a Germany-focused investment bank into an international force. Under Fitschen and Jain, Deutsche aims to be the top European global bank. Brand leads 1,700 industry, country and M&A bankers, but with the euro zone crisis hitting revenue in Europe, his new U.S. role is crucial.

Jacques BrandLast year Deutsche ranked sixth globally for investment banking fees, with $3.6 billion, down from fifth in 2010, according to Dealogic. It also took first place in Europe for a second straight year, earning $1.2 billion. But in the U.S., where it finished tenth in M&A deal volume, with $123.9 billion, the bank fell from sixth to eighth for fees, with $1.6 billion. That leaves plenty of opportunity: “The U.S. is the largest fee pool in the world and one of the highest-growth markets for investment banking,” Brand says.

Brand was born in Ghana to a Belgian mother and a German father, an Australian-born émigré who ran a diamond mining business in Western Africa. His mother died when he was a young boy; at age eight he moved with his father to New York. He planned to be a physical education teacher, but in 1984, after graduating from Boston University with a business administration degree, he took a job as a real estate investment banking analyst with Lehman Brothers Holdings. “This was the 1980s and the era of the yuppies and The Bonfire of the Vanities,” Brand recalls. “People were studying for MBAs, but it wasn’t something I was interested in until my wife and mother-in-law persuaded me that going to Harvard would be a good idea.”

The U.S. and Australian citizen earned an MBA from Harvard Business School before playing his part in Wall Street’s M&A renaissance. In 1990, Brand joined Bankers Trust Corp. as vice president of real estate investment banking, rising to head of gaming and lodging by 1999, when Deutsche acquired the firm to advance its growth strategy. He built up Deutsche’s U.S. investment banking team, becoming co-head of global corporate finance. Promoted with Leithner in 2010, Brand has worked on the firm’s biggest U.S. deals, for the likes of Blackstone, insurer American International Group and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. He represented Qwest Communications International during its $22 billion sale to CenturyLink last year.

In the wake of the financial crisis, Brand helped advise the U.S. Treasury Department on selling its stakes in AIG, Citigroup and other financial institutions that had received aid under the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program. He then led a winning pitch for Deutsche to act as lead book runner and joint global coordinator on AIG’s $20.5 billion flotation of AIA Group, its Asian insurance operation, in 2010. This March the bank was joint global coordinator and book runner on the $6 billion sell-off of AIA shares by AIG. Two months later it advised AIG during the U.S. government’s $5 billion sale of its shares in the firm. “It was unprecedented in terms of execution,” Brand says. “We launched it after market close on Friday, May 4, and priced it on Sunday, May 6, removing all market risk.”

The pressure is on Deutsche’s U.S. franchise to keep delivering. “Continuing to grow our business here is critical to our overall success globally,” Brand says.  •  •

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