Anshu Jain, the Indian banker who helped transform Deutsche Bank from a largely domestic lender into a global financial titan, has died at 59.
Trained in the City of London and Wall Street Jainwho led Deutsche as co-chief executive from 2012 to 2015, had been suffering from stomach cancer and died in the UK on Friday night, his family confirmed.
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved husband, son and father . . . passed away overnight after a fierce, five-year battle with duodenal cancer,” Jain’s family said in a statement, adding that he had managed to outlive his doctors’ original prognosis by four years. “Until his last day, Anshu stuck to his lifelong resolve to ‘not be a statistic,'” they said.
In a statement published on Saturday, Alexander Wynaendts, chairman of the supervisory board Deutsche Bank, said: “Anshu Jain has played a key role in expanding Deutsche Bank’s position in our global corporate and institutional investor business. Today it is of strategic importance not only for Deutsche Bank, but also for Europe as a financial center.”
Jain, a pioneer in derivatives trading, joined Germany’s largest lender in 1995 from Merrill Lynch, where he founded and led a unit covering hedge funds worldwide. He quickly rose through the ranks.
After his mentor Edson Mitchell – an American who ran Deutsche’s investment banking arm – died in a plane crash in 2000, Jain became head of Deutsche’s global markets business, before becoming co-head of investment banking in 2004.
He jointly oversaw a period of rapid growth in which the unit generated the vast majority of Deutsche’s profits, briefly helping it become the world’s largest bank. Jain took sole control of the division in 2010, when he overtook then-CEO Josef Ackermann.
In what was then a rare achievement for an outsider with under-polished Germany, the Jaipur-born, Delhi-raised Jain was elevated to the top job at Deutsche Bank in 2012, becoming co-CEO alongside German Jürgen Fitschen. He had one of the highest salaries in global banking and drew praise from notable investors, including Larry Fink, head of the bank’s single largest shareholder, BlackRock.
However, shareholder unrest over weak profits, rising costs, labor conflicts and repeated clashes with Deutsche’s Frankfurt establishment led to Jain’s departure in the summer of 2015, two years before his contract was due to expire.
The bank has also come under pressure from regulators, who have raised concerns about its internal culture. Deutsche was forced to pay billions of euros to settle the allegations Libor manipulation and dealing with investigations into money laundering and abuse of foreign currency.
After a brief retirement, Jain returned to financial services in 2017 as president of US investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald, while also serving as an advisor to online bank SoFi.
Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche, said: “Everyone who has worked with Anshu has experienced a passionate leader of intellectual brilliance. His energy and loyalty to the bank made a great impression on many of us. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his wife, his children and his mother. We honor his memory.”
Michele Faissola, an Italian financier and former Jain top lieutenant, said: “Anshu was a brilliant leader and a great friend. His ability to understand clients’ problems and find innovative solutions was second to none. He was able to understand a complex situation, analyze it and advise the best course of action in a short period of time. A unique talent. He will be greatly missed.”
Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened” by Jain’s death.
“I met Anshu when he was at Merrill Lynch and we remained close as his career grew, including his time at Deutsche. I will always be grateful for the time we spent together,” said Fink.
“He will be remembered for his leadership in financial services and his deep commitment to conservation. My thoughts are with his wife, children, family and friends during this difficult time.”