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Deutsche Bank’s Ex-Americas Legal Chief Leaving Trust Role (1)

Nov. 5, 2021, 8:46 AMUpdated: Nov. 5, 2021, 3:01 PM

The former top lawyer for Deutsche Bank AG’s Americas arm, Steven Reich, is preparing to leave the global financial services giant at year’s end.

Reich, who has spent more than six years helping the German bank navigate a thicket of legal and regulatory inquiries by U.S. government officials and prosecutors, last year was named CEO of Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas and head of strategy and governance for the bank’s Americas region.

“I’ll be leaving the bank at the end of the year and taking time to focus on what comes next,” Reich said in an Oct. 29 post to his LinkedIn profile. “I’m energized to tackle a new set of challenges, whether they be in-house, at a client or a law firm.”

Reich confirmed his departure to Bloomberg Law but declined further comment. Deutsche Bank declined to discuss Reich’s pending exit from the company.

In October, John Farry, a nearly 15-year Deutsche Bank legal veteran, was promoted to the role of Americas general counsel, said a source briefed on the matter.

Farry, an American based out of Deutsche Bank’s London office, most recently served as legal chief for the bank’s U.K. unit. Farry began his legal career three decades ago as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where he worked out of the law firm’s offices in London, New York, and Washington.

Reich noted in his announcement via LinkedIn that he’s looking forward to the next chapter in his career. Joseph Salama, who has spent more than a decade in-house at Deutsche Bank and was initially selected to succeed Reich as Americas general counsel, praised his soon-to-be-former colleague.

“I will miss having you as an advisor and a sparring partner when grappling with tough decisions and issues,” Salama wrote on LinkedIn in response to Reich’s farewell message. Salama, who prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 2010 was an associate at Latham & Watkins and Cravath, Swaine & Moore, added that Reich’s “judgment and ability to see risk around the corner is second to none.”

Deutsche Bank tapped Salama earlier his year to be its new global head of anti-financial crimes and group anti-money laundering officer. Salama splits his time between New York and the bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

Salama and Reich changed their in-house duties after Deutsche Bank promoted longtime in-house lawyer Karen Kuder last year to succeed Florian Drinhausen as its group general counsel. Drinhausen, a former Linklaters partner, took on the role in 2018 when he succeeded two other lawyers who shared the bank’s top legal job.

Reich’s new role effectively made the former U.S. Department of Justice official the leader of Deutsche Bank’s U.S. operations. Deutsche Bank, which hired Reich in 2015, operates in the U.S. as a foreign bank branch and trust company.

Prior to Deutsche Bank, Reich was a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in New York and Washington, as well as an associate deputy attorney general at the Justice Department during the Obama administration.

Deutsche Bank also saw Charles “C.J.” Rinaldi, an attorney and Americas head of market compliance for its broker-dealer unit Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., leave last month to become the first-ever chief compliance officer for Blockchain.com Inc., a London-based cryptocurrency data and technology company.

In his new role Rinaldi reports to Lindsey Haswell, who joined Blockchain.com earlier this year as its chief administrative and legal officer.

Deutsche Bank is the latest large bank so far this year to make changes to the leadership tier of its in-house legal team.

Bank of America said in September its general counsel David Leitch will retire at year’s end and be replaced by Lauren Mogensen, while Citigroup Inc. that same month hired former Treasury Department official Brent McIntosh as the successor to its retiring general counsel Rohan Weerasinghe.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also parted ways in March with its former legal chief, Karen Seymour. UBS Group AG announced the following month its hire of Barbara Levi, a former top lawyer at Rio Tinto PLC, as its new group general counsel.

(Adds information on C.J. Rinaldi in 13th and 14th paragraphs.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com