Deutsche Bank prepares to welcome general counsel to board

Deutsche Bank is set to promote general counsel Richard Walker to its management board as part of a top-level reshuffle.

Walker, a former partner at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, rose to the top legal position in 2001, taking responsibility for the global investment banking business after joining from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (8 October 2011).

His expected move to the global executive committee comes as the bank expands the group from 12 to 17 members.

It comes as Anshu Jain prepares to take over from Josef Ackermann as CEO of the German bank in May, with Jain reported to be making a number of personnel changes at the top level.

Stephan Leithner, co-head of the advisory and coverage business within the investment banking division, is said to be lined up for a legal and compliance role, with the bank splitting the risk portfolio – currently held by chief risk officer Hugo Bänziger – into two.

Bänziger is reported to be leaving the board, with successor Bill Broeksmit taking on the risk responsibilities and Leithner – who is not a lawyer – overseeing legal and compliance.

Sources said the move was unlikely to have a major effect on the bank’s pattern for instructing outside lawyers, with Walker close to a broad range of firms and Leither not having a significant background in the legal profession.

The main Deutsche Bank contacts for private-practice City lawyers are UK and Western Europe general counsel Emma Slatter and London-based Alex Scott-Gall, with both having a background in the global markets division.

Slatter, a former Slaughter and May trainee, took over the role in 2010 after being head of legal for fixed income in global markets.

The key contacts outside the UK are Germany and Eastern Europe legal chief Arne Wittig, Asia general counsel Joseph Longo and US legal head Joseph Polizzotto.

Deutsche Bank did not respond to a request for comment.