McMurdo to head Deutsche Bank in Australia/NZ

German bank has named former London-based Goldman Sachs partner James McMurdo as its new chief executive officer for Australia and New Zealand starting in February next year.

Two months after John Macfarlane announced he would be retiring as country head for Deutsche Bank in Australia and New Zealand, the German bank has found a replacement. James McMurdo will assume the role in February 2014 having recently resigned from Goldman Sachs where he was head of the financial sponsors group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in London.

McMurdo moved to London in 2011 when he was made a partner at the US firm. Prior to that he was co-head of investment banking in Australia for Goldman, and had previously headed industrial coverage at UBS in Australia.

The new role at Deutsche sees him return to Sydney where his family also resides. He is on gardening leave for the next five months.

McMurdo replaces Macfarlane who is set to retire after 25 years with the bank including four years as local executive chairman and two years as CEO. Macfarlane joined Bankers Trust in 1988 in New Zealand and eventually became chief country officer for Deutsche in Japan following the acquisition of BT in 1999.

McMurdo’s two main reports in Sydney will be Michael Ormaechea, local head of corporate banking and securities, and John Cincotta, who has been the country’s chief operating officer for over 10 years. Ormaechea also has a regional role as Asia-Pacific head of FICC and equities.

McMurdo himself will report to Gunit Chadha and Alan Cloete, co-CEOs for Asia-Pacific and members of Deutsche’s group executive committee.

“Naturally [McMurdo] will have a business-wide focus, building on our strengths in capital markets but also rates, sales and trading, private wealth, asset management and transaction banking,” said a spokesperson.

Deutsche currently ranks fourth on Thomson Reuters’ Australian ECM league tables for 2013 with a 6% share of the market, behind leader UBS (29% share), Macquarie (11%) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (7%). Its biggest deal this year to date was a A$262 million block trade for Seven West Media in May.

It is hoped McMurdo will help to rejuvenate the bank’s M&A business given his previous history at Goldman where he worked closely with private equity firms, advising KKR, Carlyle Group and CVC Asia-Pacific on large-scale purchases and disposals.

M&A isn’t Deutsche’s strongest suit in Australia and New Zealand. The bank doesn’t feature in the list of top 10 advisers of “any Australian involvement announced M&A” for the six months to June 2013, though, in July, it acted as sole financial adviser to AGL on the A$158 million (US$141 million) acquisition of Australian Power & Gas.

McMurdo has the contacts and the track record to change this. “Being a client-facing person, a big part of his focus will be bringing in high-quality deals,” said the spokesperson.

Interestingly, Deutsche enjoys a steady flow of fees from its 49.9% stake in New Zealand firm Craigs Investment Partners, which it bought in March 2010. Earlier this year the firm was the sole underwriter and joint bookrunner for News Limited on the sale of $500 million worth of shares in NZ Sky Network TV, the biggest block trade in the country in 10 years.

It is currently mandated on IPOs for Meridian Energy and Z Energy, and has an ongoing role as financial adviser to the New Zealand government on a proposed mixed ownership model covering several energy companies.

In December last year, FinanceAsia awarded the Craigs/Deutsche alliance for its bookrunner role in the NZ$525 million (US$414 million) IPO of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, naming this the Best New Zealand Deal of the year.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
Share our publication on social media
Share our publication on social media