India saw 42% of Deutsche Bank’s global hires

Namrata Singh and Mayur Shetty | TNN
Mumbai: Over 40% of Deutsche Bank’s (DB) €25.4 billion hires globally this year have been in India.
Elaborating on the importance of India – which currently accounts for 17% of its nearly 83,000 employees worldwide – Michael Ilgner, senior group director and global head of human resources and real estate at Deutsche Bank, said that the bank sees India as a source of talent that it wants to develop in the country and also for leadership positions globally. As of December 31, India was the fourth largest contributor to the group’s pre-tax profit at 459 million euros, with a total strength of 14,114.
In an exclusive interview with TOI during his recent visit, Ilgner said: “India is a growth market for us – 42% of our global hires year-to-date have been in India. If you compare that to the total population, you will see that our hires are proportionally higher in India. Last year, the number of hires in India was 33% of global hires. In terms of size and relative growth, India is clearly, compared to other regions, a growth area for DB.
Ilgner, a 51-year-old German national who was appointed to the current role in March 2020, said DB offers significant development opportunities in India at the senior ranks. “People don’t just start their careers here, they also have the prospect of moving into leadership roles. We do not intend to bring leaders here from elsewhere as expatriates, although this may happen from time to time, but it is not the general strategy that we pursue. We want to develop leaders in India based on the higher share of juniors we have here compared to the world,” Ilgner said, adding that the bank, however, supports international exchanges and mobility.
With the post-pandemic digitization of the workplace, which has made talent accessible and jobs independent of location, Ilgner expects there to be an ongoing global exchange of talent to seek out the best solutions and bring together the best talents. He expects global mobility to accelerate.
As to whether allegations of “green laundering” of investment products – which led to raids on the offices of DB and its asset management subsidiary DWS in Frankfurt – could have an impact on the image of DB’s employer brand, Ilgner said: “With our global network, long-standing expertise in financial services and a transition to sustainable growth, we are confident to offer a compelling proposition to talent. We have set ambitious sustainability goals and aim to make ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) the new standard in banking, in dialogue with our clients, in our own operations and in all of our processes.
Based on a CHRO roundtable Ilgner attended in India, he said it’s currently a global employee market with globally disrupted talent supply chains. “This disruption to the talent supply chain is affecting almost every business right now, almost every region of the world. But, as it affects everyone, there will also be a solution sooner or later. We are well positioned but we are also very attentive to the evolution of the situation. In certain regions, we note that a peak of attrition has been reached and that it will come down again. But we try to be very analytical in our HR function , where we have almost real-time data to make sure that we can of course correct and also take action if necessary.” Ilgner, who played in the German national water polo team and competed in the Olympics in 1996, now applies some of these learnings to team dynamics in banking: “I wrote my doctoral thesis in microeconomic theory and I proposed a concept to describe behaviors in groups. In my sport, in particular, the player who provides an assist is actually rewarded more than the one who scores a goal,” Ilgner said.
As part of his thesis, in a survey of highly competitive teams, a majority of 66% of members said that it is the “we” that helps a team win under pressure versus the “I”. “It was interesting to see that high performing group members understand that the majority of the interests they need to focus on in their day-to-day decisions should be group success and not individual success. The success of the group can only take place when everyone gives the best of themselves. It is this bond, which I experienced very intensely in sport, that I try to translate into our cultural development of leadership principles,” he said.

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