Deutsche Bank could move half its NY staff to smaller hubs

Pandemic’s WFH experience “has taught us a ton,” a top exec said

Deutsche Bank Christiana Riley, chief executive for Deutsche in the Americas (iStock; Getty)
Deutsche Bank Christiana Riley, chief executive for Deutsche in the Americas (iStock; Getty)

Deutsche Bank could move up to half of its Manhattan employees to smaller U.S. hubs in the next five years, as it plans a major building downsize.

Christiana Reiley, the bank’s chief executive in the Americas, told the Financial Times that months of its employees having worked successfully from home has shown that jobs could be sent to lower-cost regions.

“It [the pandemic] has taught us a ton,” Riley said.

Riley, who is also a member of Deutsche’s management board, said the New York headcount of 4,600 could “conceivably” be cut in half within five years, depending on the evolution of “smaller hubs and pockets.”

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The potential move could be another blow to Manhattan’s hobbled office real estate market. November’s overall availability rate of 13.5 percent is the highest recorded since 2003, according to a recent Colliers International report.

Deutsche is in the process of relocating from its 1.6-million-square-foot office at 60 Wall Street to a 1-million-square-foot building at Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle. The new location has workspaces for 4,200 people, though it can accommodate all 4,600 current staff with flexible working arrangements.

The German investment bank has been through a major restructuring; in July 2019, it said it would cut 18,000 jobs worldwide. Its real estate footprint at Time Warner Center has also been reduced by at least 60,000 square feet since its original 1.1 million-square-foot lease was signed in May 2018. The firm is in the process of moving into the new location. [FT] — Akiko Matsuda

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