Cultural change and corporate values

The impact of the economic crisis has made a long-term change of corporate culture in the financial sector absolutely imperative and cultural change is needed. We understand the message: Responsibility has to be the focus of our actions. In 2013, we laid the foundation for long-term change with the release of our new values and beliefs.

Deutsche Bank Annual Press Conference February 2013


April 30, 2014
Updated Deutsche Bank Code of Business Conduct and Ethics launched

Cultural change: essential part of our corporate strategy

After the financial crisis, it is essential for the banking industry to restore a firm bond of trust with the communities we serve. That applies to Deutsche Bank as well as the entire industry. We have set ourselves the goal of taking on a pioneering role in the change that is indispensable in the business sector: Cultural change is therefore an essential part of our Strategy 2015+. The Management Board and the Group Executive Committee therefore initiated a comprehensive dialogue with employees and senior management. One crucial step is to bring the attitudes and goals of our staff in line with the needs or our clients and the overall economy.

We are integrating our corporate values and beliefs into people management tools such as objective setting, performance management, leadership, management assessment and people development tools. We are developing organizational metrics and systems to support the measurement and adoption of desired behaviors. This will be achieved through the use of client management information systems, client satisfaction metrics and performance measurement systems, including the creation of a scorecard with financial and nonfinancial metrics.

Since we launched our Strategy 2015+, we have worked intensively on our corporate culture. We implemented some essential short-term actions, such as redefining our compensation practices and policies, and creating an Independent Compensation Review Panel. We also rolled out a programme of measures to tighten our control environment.


Managing operational transformation

In 2013, we started a comprehensive project to better serve clients, tighten controls and improve cost-efficiency. The project not only includes the streamlining of our processes and the introduction of new technologies or systems, but also requires all employees to be open to new ways of thinking, which will lead to new habits and a very different approach to daily work.

In the past, we may have underestimated the potential emotional effects of change. We have therefore developed a series of measures to support leaders and employees throughout the transformation. These include: guidelines on managing change; surveys to assess how employees are processing the change both mentally and emotionally; and coaching, workshops and trainings on how to increase efficiency.


Intensified oversight of ethics

In 2013, our Supervisory Board intensified its oversight of ethics through the creation of an Integrity Committee. The committee advises and monitors the Management Board on its measures to ensure the economically sound, sustainable development of the company while protecting the resources of the natural environment, maintaining social responsibility and observing the principles of sound, responsible management and corporate governance. It is also concerned with the integration of these aspects into corporate culture.

In particular, the committee deals with:

  • Monitoring the Management Board’s measures to ensure the bank’s compliance with legal requirements, authorities’ regulations and the company’s own in-house policies.
  • Regular review of the bank’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics with a view to fostering ethical and moral conduct within and outside the bank.
  • Precautionary monitoring and strategic analysis of the bank’s legal and reputational risks that could place the entire bank at risk or lead to material claims for damages against current or former Management Board members and regularly advising and monitoring the Management Board with a view to avoiding such risks.

Cultural change at Deutsche Bank

Questions & Answers


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 / 250 KB]


Deutsche Bank-Vorstand Stephan Leithner

Deutsche Bank Executive Management Board Member Stephan Leithner about the importance of the cultural change for the Bank. Read the interview here

Our progress on implementing cultural change

Since we launched our strategy, we have worked intensively on our corporate culture. We introduced the process of deep, longer-term cultural change and established our new corporate values.

Pub­li­ca­tion of the first Hu­man Re­sour­ces re­port

July 2014

The report provides transparency on key employee figures

Creation of an Integrity Com­mittee


Our Supervisory Board intensified its oversight of ethics through the creationof an Integrity Committee.

Launch of our new corporate values

July 2013

Presentation of our six new company's values and underlying beliefs. Management Board and GEC lead discussions with 11,000 employees in workshops and townhalls.

Commitment to ethical re­mun­eration principles

July 2013

Commit­ment to ethi­cal prin­ciples in the re­mun­eration of manage­ment. Position paper

Tightening of the control environment

2013 The Compliance department was strengthened by adding some 200 people in 2013 and with plans to hire a similar number in 2014.

Creation of the new corporate values

2013 Management Board and GEC develop corporate values in cooperation with 250 senior managers worldwide.

Recommendations of the independent compensation review panel

March 2013

Recommen­dations of the inde­pen­dent com­pen­sation review panel for future com­pen­sation struc­tures and prac­tices. Press release

Independent compensation review panel

October 2012

Members of the inde­pen­dent com­pen­sation review panel announced. Chairman: Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, former CEO of BASF. Compensation

Employee surveys

2012 52,000 employees took part in surveys relating to corporate culture.

Our corporate values and beliefs

Our Values
Integrity Sustainable
Innovation Discipline Partnership
Our Beliefs
We live by the highest standards of integrity in everything we say and do We drive value for shareholders by putting long-term success over short-term gain We earn our clients’ trust by placing them at the core of our organization We foster innovation by valuing intellectual curiosity in our people We protect the firm’s resources by always thinking and acting like owners We build diverse teams to generate better ideas and reach more balanced decisions
We will do what is right – not just what is allowed We encourage entrepreneurial spirit which responsibly balances risks and returns We deliver true value by understanding and serving our clients’ needs best We enable our clients’ success by constantly seeking suitable solutions to their problems We live by the rules and hold ourselves accountable to deliver on our promises – no excuses We put the common goals of the firm before ‘silo’ loyalty by trusting, respecting and working with each other
We communicate openly; we invite, provide and respect challenging views We pursue lasting performance by developing, nurturing and investing in the best talent, and by managing based on merit We strive to pursue mutually beneficial client relationships in which the value created is shared fairly We continuously improve our processes and platforms by embracing new and better ways of doing things We achieve operational excellence by striving to ‘get it right the first time’ We act as responsible partners with all our stakeholders and regulators, and in serving the wider interests of society

Our corporate values lie at the core of everything we do. They will guide our behaviour with clients, with each other, with our shareholders and with the communities we serve. They define the type of institution Deutsche Bank aspires to be.

Each of the values rests on a clear set of beliefs which set out how we seek to conduct ourselves as we live by our values. Our beliefs reflect our own history, the interests of our stakeholders, and the changing environment in which we operate.

By living these Values and Beliefs in daily interactions with our stakeholders, employees have a critical role to play in helping us to restore the trust lost during the financial crisis, which is also at the heart of our Strategy 2015+.


Establishing our Values and Beliefs

Throughout the year, we undertook an intensive process of internal consultation and collaboration to establish the Values and Beliefs that underline our cultural change. We conducted our most comprehensive dialogue exchange to date, engaging with employees and management immediately after our strategy review. We gathered feedback from more than 52,000 employees, representing over half of the bank’s global population. This feedback was used by senior management to identify the cultural themes that needed to be developed to support the delivery of Strategy 2015 +. These include: fully focusing on our clients, observing the highest levels of integrity across all our client relationships, maintaining operational discipline and collaborating more effectively across departments.

Our Group Executive Committee (GEC) took a strong lead in developing and interpreting our cultural themes as well as the Values and Beliefs. Extensive sessions were held with the bank’s top 250 leaders to ensure that these Values and Beliefs were fully endorsed by our most senior employees. Co-CEO-led Managing Director Culture Forums across key regional locations focused on the definition of good conduct from the perspective of our employees and society at large. The collective feedback received was acknowledged at the 2013 Senior Management Conference, during which the bank’s top 250 leaders endorsed the new Values and Beliefs.

Establishing our Values and Beliefs

“We ask our top-250 people to report personally to us on how each one of them has engaged with their teams.”

Jürgen Fitschen Co-Chairman of the Management Board, in February 2014

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