Understanding Industry-Specific Challenges
by Alexander Mutter, Head of Trade & Cash Solutions Industry Advisory Team, Global Transaction Banking, EMEA, Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank has long recognised that its clients have varying requirements depending on the industry sector they belong to. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Leading commercial banks, in order to stay competitive and to be able to truly serve their clients, need to understand the client’s natural habitat in order to bring to the table a broad range of answers.
Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank started to reconfigure its Trade & Cash Solutions Advisory team to adopt a dedicated industry-oriented advisory approach. The early stages of this process included the appointment of a number of EMEA-wide Industry Advisory Heads.
The approach taken by the bank’s Global Transaction Banking division now mirrors, to some extent, the structure that has long served our corporate finance teams. We see it as a vital move. Why? It’s really all about meeting client demand. They want and need a bank which adopts an advisory-based approach. That can only be achieved if the bank understands the idiosyncrasies and specific needs of their industry.
For a bank to bring a client ideas, expertise and ready-made solutions, you have to get right into the DNA of that client. This ranges from industry trends, how the macro environment is impacting them, what products are at the forefront of that industry and, importantly, what the client’s peer group are doing. If we can do that in an easily accessible manner, then we are getting to the heart of the client and bringing them what they really need to stay competitive and grow.
We have identified the major industries that we need to focus on and selected the right people for the right sectors. These groups are: Technology, Media & Telecoms; Retail & Consumers; Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals; Transport & Logistics; Natural Resources; Chemicals & Industrials; and Metals & Mining. Although these are all very different sectors, there are commonalities among them all. As the client’s advisor, we need to add value and provide support for their business models, enabling them to become more profitable. And in this resource-constrained era, we need to help them reduce costs, exploit efficiencies and at the same time, aggressively manage their risk exposures. From a trade finance perspective, we also help them to inject supply chains with additional liquidity in the most sustainable and efficient way.
How will we do that? We have to complement the growing industry sector expertise with our technical expertise by interpreting complex challenges and enhancing the relationship between bank with customised and replicable solutions. This transcends the entire cash management and financial supply chain solutions product range. Our industry sector specialists are responsible for account planning in partnership with our client coverage teams, identifying opportunities, profiling clients, exploring and executing deal opportunities. Above all, once we hit upon a successful solution, we must have the ability and resources to replicate it again and again.
One of our key objectives is to better understand the dynamics of the corporate client’s commercial flows, including supply chain, risks, opportunities, costs and the impact on P&L.