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Deutsche Bank Elevates Top Americas Lawyer to Trust Company Role

Oct. 29, 2020, 6:20 PM

Deutsche Bank AG has a new leader for its U.S. entities in Steven Reich, previously general counsel for the Americas at the German financial services outfit.

Reich, who has served as Deutsche Bank’s top U.S. lawyer since 2015, was named CEO of Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas and head of strategy and governance initiatives for the Americas.

“Effective governance is a trait common to all successful financial institutions,” wrote Deutsche Bank managing director Christiana Riley in a LinkedIn post this week. “I can think of no one better to take on these important responsibilities as we continue our transformative journey.”

Deutsche Bank operates in the U.S. as a foreign bank branch and trust company. The bank’s leadership has recently come under fire for compliance lapses involving money laundering in overseas jurisdictions—particularly Russia—that ran afoul of U.S. sanctions. German prosecutors have also targeted Deutsche Bank over money laundering-related matters. In 2018, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Deutsche Bank had incurred $17 billion in legal costs during the past decade.

Reich, a former federal prosecutor and one-time partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, declined to discuss his promotion.

Reich “will be conducting a strategic review of all our legal entities and driving stronger controls and governance,” Riley said in an Aug. 8 internal memo announcing the move, obtained by Bloomberg Law.

His new roles at the Frankfurt, Germany-based bank became official this week.

Joseph Salama, a former associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Latham & Watkins who has worked in-house at Deutsche Bank in New York since 2010, replaces Reich as Americas general counsel. Salama also continues to serve as the bank’s global head of litigation and regulatory enforcement and leader of its legal diversity and inclusion council.

Deutsche Bank named veteran in-house lawyer Karen Kuder to serve as its global head of legal in May, replacing former group general counsel Florian Drinhausen.

Robert Werner, a former head of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, is a member of the board for Deutsche Bank Trust and its Americas arm. Werner was hired earlier this year as general counsel for digital currency network the Libra Association, but relinquished that role due to conflicts with his Deutsche Bank board position, he said in August.

Locke Lord; Mackie Wolf Zientz & Mann; and McGlinchey Stafford have collectively handled more than 20% of Deutsche Bank’s federal litigation work within the U.S. during the past five years, according to Bloomberg Law data.

Robert Kimmitt, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany and current senior international counsel at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, where he co-chairs the law firm’s crisis management and strategic response group, has also been retained by Deutsche Bank as it copes with scrutiny from U.S. regulators.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at