Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) is a global financial services firm that offers various financial and investment products to individual, corporate, and institutional clients. Deutsche Bank operates in three divisions: Corporate and Investment Bank, which advises corporate and institutional clients on structuring financial transactions and provides debt and equity issuance; Private Clients and Asset Management, which serves retail and institutional clients and high net worth individuals; and Corporate Investments, which manages the firm’s investments, including its alternative assets. Deutsche Bank’s other offerings include life insurance and mortgage products and services.
Founded in 1870, Deutsche Bank AG was established as an international financial services firm aimed at promoting trading between Germany and other markets throughout Europe and the world. Since then, Deutsche Bank has grown into a leading financial services firm, offering a wide range of financial and related products and services. With nearly 78,000 employees and $2.67 trillion in assets, Deutsche Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the world.
The firm operates in three divisions:
In 2009, DB generated a net income of €4.95 billion on revenues of €27.95 billion. This represents a turnaround from 2008, when the company incurred a net loss of €3.90 billion on €13.61 billion in revenues.
When economic conditions take a turn for the worse, fewer firms look to buy and sell other companies, leading to lower revenues for Deutsche Bank and other investment banks that structure these types of transactions. The spreading effects of the credit crunch and the slowdown in the U.S. housing market could drive down the frequency of mergers and acquisitions worldwide. Deutsche Bank would be especially hard hit by a global slowdown in M&A activity since its Corporate and Investment Bank division accounts for well over half of the firm’s pretax income.
As a diversified financial services firm, Deutsche Bank’s operations span both investment banking and retail banking. Since over half of its profits come from investment banking, however, it’s most often compared to other I-banks such as Goldman Sachs Group (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), and Merrill Lynch (MER). As Deutsche Bank pares down its retail operations to focus on higher-margin investment banking segments, this comparison will continue to become more appropriate.