Rob Rankin

Rankin gets seat on Deutsche's group executive committee

The appointment comes just 18 months after Rankin joined Deutsche Bank from UBS and underlines the strategic importance of Asia as a key growth driver for the bank.

Deutsche Bank announced last night that Robert Rankin, its CEO for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, has been appointed a member of the bank’s group executive committee (GEC) from January 1 next year. Rankin will be the first CEO from Asia to get a seat on the committee, which shows the growing influence of this region on the bank’s overall business.

The 12-member committee is headed by chairman Josef Ackermann and made up of the seven members of the management board as well as senior representatives from various business divisions and regions, including Seth Waugh, the CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas. A key purpose of the committee is to coordinate the business between products and regions. Its responsibilities include providing information to the management board on business developments and particular transactions, reviewing business segments on a regular basis, and advising the management board on strategic decisions.

Rankin’s appointment comes just 18 months after he joined Deutsche Bank from UBS in June 2009 and is a clear recognition of the work he has done so far in boosting Deutsche Bank’s footprint in Asia, particularly within investment banking. A key focus in the past year has been to improve equity origination to match its already strong sales and trading business and, in that respect, the bank has made some definite progress.

It was a joint global coordinator on AIA Group’s $20.5 billion IPO and a joint bookrunner on Agricultural Bank of China’s $22.1 billion dual-listing. And below those two jumbo trades it was also involved in landmark transactions in other markets such as Petronas Chemicals (the largest ever IPO in Malaysia), Coal India (the largest ever IPO in India) and Cebu Air (the largest ever IPO in the Philippines in US dollar terms). With a couple of weeks left of the year, Deutsche Bank leads the Dealogic league table for Asia ex-Japan IPOs in volume terms, just ahead of Morgan Stanley.

Rankin has also put added focus on winning business from private sector companies in China and a few months back hired renowned deal maker Henry Cai from UBS as head of the corporate and investment bank (CIB) in China, and chairman of corporate finance for Asia.

Some 20% of the Deutsche Bank’s investment banking revenues now come from Asia, versus about 11% of revenues across business lines.

Ackermann, who is chairman both of the GEC and the management board, said in a statement that Rankin’s appointment “reflects the bank’s global presence and underlines the strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region as one of our key growth drivers”.

The move to Deutsche Bank was a big one for Rankin who got a much bigger remit than at UBS where he was head of investment banking for Asia-Pacific and chairman of the management advisory committee of UBS’s joint venture in China, UBS Securities. But he is arguably growing into the role. 

Initially an M&A lawyer, Rankin joined UBS in Australia in 1990 and moved to Hong Kong in 2000 to head up the investment banking team focused on telecoms, media and technology. He became co-head of Asia investment banking in 2003 and sole head of the same division in 2004 when his fellow co-head Peter Burnett moved on. In January 2009, his investment banking coverage widened from head of Asia to head of Asia-Pacific as Australia was also included under his leadership.

Rankin replaced Colin Grassie as Asia-Pacific CEO at Deutsche. Grassie returned to Europe in June 2009 to become CEO for the United Kingdom.

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