Change of strategy at Deutsche Bank? First trader for base metals

Die Deutsche Bank AG appears to have hired a base metals trader for the first time. The background is the planned partial return to this business after a decade of absence. According to informed circles, Thiebaud Format will move from BNP Paribas SA to Deutsche Bank in London. He is said to work there in the precious metals department of the bank, but also in trading with base metals, it is said. A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

The appointment is part of trading boss Ram Nayak’s strategy to selectively expand its fixed income and currency (FIC) offering to sustain the division’s growth. Deutsche Bank gave up trading in commodities in 2013 and incorporated precious metals into the FIC division because stricter banking regulation made the business less attractive.

The bank had started considering returning to trading in base metals as prices for those commodities soared. CEO Christian Sewing is looking for new sources of growth. Bank of America and Morgan Stanley have also recently hired new employees after the Ukraine war and interest rate hikes shook metal markets. Copper, gold and aluminum all rose to record levels this year, although they have been falling more recently.

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The fixed-income and currency business has been Deutsche Bank’s sole trading arm since exiting equity trading, and is also its largest source of income. However, business is likely to slow in the coming year, leaving Sewing and Nayak looking for new sources of growth.

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