The head of technology at one of the biggest quantitative asset managers in the world just signed on for what could prove to be the most difficult equation he’s had to solve: The transformation of Deutsche Bank.
Neal Pawar, who has served as chief technology officer at AQR since 2014, will leave the $203 billion asset management firm to serve as Deutsche Bank’s group chief information officer, Business Insider has learned. Pawar, who is also a principal at AQR, will start his new role at the German bank in September. He will remain based in New York.
An internal memo notifying the bank’s employees was distributed Monday morning. Pawar will sit on the bank’s group management committee, according to the memo, which includes the heads of all its business divisions. He will report to Bernd Leukert, who the bank recently announced will also join in September to serve on Deutsche Bank’s management board where he will be responsible for data, technology and innovation.
Pawar replaces Al Tarasiuk, who has served as group CIO since 2018. Tarasiuk, who joined the bank in 2015, will serve as a strategic advisor to Leukert, who came from German software company SAP.
A Deutsche Bank spokesperson confirmed the move to Business Insider.
Bloomberg first reported Pawar had left AQR and would be joining Deutsche Bank on Friday.
Pawar will join a bank in the process of going through significant changes. In early July, the bank announced its intentions to cut 18,000 jobs by 2022 and drop its stock sales and trading unit. Some have questioned how that decision, while maintaining US and European equity-research teams and the equity-capital-markets operation, would help save the bank, which has struggled in recent years.
Business Insider reported on a leaked memo from one of Deutsche Bank’s hedge fund clients explaining the reasoning behind saving the research department.
Despite the recent cuts and overhaul, technology seems to be at least one area the German bank is focusing on. In a letter to bank employees, Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s CEO, said the firm intends to spend 13 billion euros on technology by 2022.
A key responsibility for Pawar, who previously held executive technology positions at D.E. Shaw & Co. and UBS Wealth Management, will be further establishing Deutsche Bank’s cloud strategy, according to sources familiar the matter.
Pawar, who was twice named to Institutional Investors list of top financial technologists, led AQR’s increased adoption of the cloud, including its use of Amazon’s AWS. That experience could prove valuable as Wall Street continues to try and wrap its head around the best ways to leverage the public cloud.
Deutsche Bank is in the midst of building out its own cloud, Fabric, which was built on the Red Hat Openshift technology.
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