Cultural Change at Deutsche Bank: Questions & Answers

1. How important is cultural change for Deutsche Bank?

A strong corporate culture, founded on shared values and beliefs, is essential to the Bank’s long-term success. We aim to be at the forefront of cultural change in our industry. We recognize the need for profound cultural change that places client relationships and integrity at the heart of our initiatives. Creating incentives for sustainable performance helps us to live a culture that reflects society’s values and benefits all stakeholders. At an early stage we recognized the crucial importance of cultural change as an essential part of our strategic orientation and defined culture as one of the key levers of Strategy 2015+. Strategy 2020 reaffirms our commitment to a strong corporate culture: culture remains one of the now six strategic levers.

2. What progress has been made?

Cultural change at Deutsche Bank is a multi-year journey, with strong senior management commitment and a clear tone from the top. In 2014, Deutsche Bank made significant progress on this journey.

Senior managers and employees intensified their dialogue about corporate culture. In small groups, participants from all areas of the Bank discussed what the values and beliefs mean specifically for business transactions, client relationships and internal processes, and how each employee can implement the values and bring about change in their areas of work. For example during 2014, more than 400 Managing Directors in Germany (90%) participated in a two-day culture workshop (“Dialogue Forum”) conducted by the “Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft Köln”. Worldwide more than 6,500 employees of the investment bank participated in seminars and intensively explored ways to deal with critical situations and “gray” areas by applying the values and beliefs as a clear guideline for conduct and a measure of what is expected of each employee.

The values and beliefs have been embedded into Deutsche Bank’s business processes, but this is an ongoing initiative. In line with this commitment, we have continued to change the way in which we do business in 2014. We restricted the sale of complex derivative products to certain client groups and discontinued business with certain clients who represented a reputational risk or whose business did not fit with our values.

We have also embedded the values into our people processes and incentive systems. In 2013 and 2014 key elements of the Bank’s performance management and compensation processes were aligned to the values and beliefs. Adherence to the values and beliefs is now taken into account in the evaluation process of individual performance and plays a key role in promotion decisions. To reinforce positive behavior, we recognize teams with an internal award who live the Bank’s values and, in doing so, achieve exceptional business outcomes. In addition, our culture employee network allows colleagues to proactively support the implementation of the values and beliefs in their respective area as so called culture ambassadors.

3. What part does culture play in the new strategy?

Our values need to be an integral part of how Deutsche Bank does business. Strategy 2020 clearly expresses this objective: culture remains one of the now six strategic levers. The values and beliefs provide the parameters for strategy implementation and support the implementation process itself.

4. How will Deutsche Bank ensure that cultural change is sustainable?

Cultural change is a multi-year journey. Despite the progress made, we are committed to doing more. By aligning our people and business processes we support the long-term, sustainable anchoring of our values across the organization. We recognize that our senior managers in particular play a key role in living the values and acting as role models. However, each and every employee is encouraged to help shape our new culture in order to earn the trust of clients, shareholders and society at large.

Deutsche Bank Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

This Code describes the values and minimum standards for ethical business conduct that we expect all of our employees to follow and that guide all of our interactions with internal and external stakeholders. [PDF / 135 KB]

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