07 May 2020

Deutsche Bank names long-time in-house lawyer as new GC

Karen Kuder replaces Florian Drinhausen, who quit as GC in April after two years in the job

Deutsche Bank has named Karen Kuder as its new GC, replacing Florian Drinhausen who announced his departure last month after just two years in the role.

Kuder — who has been at the bank for two decades — is promoted to GC in the midst of a strategic overhaul at Deutsche Bank that has seen it scale back its investment banking unit and plan thousands of job cuts in an attempt to revive its fortunes after posting losses in four out of the past five years.

Karl von Rohr, president and management board member responsible for legal issues, said: “In Karen Kuder, we have found an outstanding general counsel within our own ranks. Her appointment demonstrates that our bank has an excellent internal pool of candidates.”

Kuder was previously chief governance officer for the bank, responsible for its global governance framework. She has also acted as a senior advisor to the bank’s German corporate client business and is a member of the EU Insolvency Expert Group, which is advising the EU on a harmonised insolvency law as part of the bloc’s capital markets union proposals.

Stefan Simon, chief legal officer at Deutsche Bank, said: “Karen Kuder knows the bank very well from many years of experience. She has proven herself in the past years in various challenges and therefore brings the full range of expertise necessary for managing the legal department of a global bank.”

Drinhausen is due to step down at the end of this month. He joined the bank in 2014 from Linklaters, initially as GC for the EMEA region before becoming head of the legal department and the bank’s global GC in 2018, replacing co-GCs Christof von Dryander and Simon Dodds.

Deutsche Bank has been plagued by a raft of legal issues over the past decade. In 2016, it agreed to pay a $7.2bn penalty to the US Department of Justice for selling bonds that were backed by toxic mortgages in the run up to the financial crisis. Then a year later it was a hit by a $627mn fine by US and UK regulators for breaching anti-money laundering laws.

In March, US bank Wells Fargo named Ellen Patterson as its new general counsel. 

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