New boss to make key changes

Deutsche Bank, known for its predominantly middle-aged white male leadership, has made a refreshing change by appointing Hoby Buvat as the new co-head of capital markets for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Buvat, originally from Madagascar, relocated with her family to Paris at the age of eight in search of better opportunities. Despite not having much knowledge of banking during her childhood, her fascination with microeconomics and corporate performance led her to pursue studies at ESCP, a renowned French business school known for producing graduates who quickly earn around $130,000 upon entering the workforce. Buvat addressed students at UCL last year, sharing her perspective: “Coming from a different country and a different language… reinforced my sense of curiosity. I’m quite open-minded… and generally not afraid of changing anything.”

One of the changes Buvat has implemented at Deutsche Bank involves morning meetings. Recognising the challenges faced by working mothers with young children, she shared her experience with the students: “I used to have a morning meeting… at 7:45 am. A few years ago, that was just the worst possible time for me because… everyone was getting ready for school.” Buvat requested a later meeting time, which was accommodated. Although seemingly a small adjustment, she emphasised the significant impact such changes can have for working mothers.

Buvat has additional ideas for promoting change within the bank. Instead of merely increasing the number of junior women in banking, she advocates for enhanced mobility within the mid-level ranks. She stated, “That means retraining, taking a bit more risk on people because they don’t fit the profile we’ve seen so far, moving from an analyst role to an MD role in an investment bank. It would be more lateral… I would like to see a more horizontal view of the talent pool to increase diversity.” This implies Buvat’s desire to identify diverse candidates from the middle and back office and provide them with the training and opportunities to transition into front office roles.

Throughout her career, Buvat has predominantly worked in the front office. Since joining Deutsche Bank in 2000, with a brief period at Merrill Lynch prior to the financial crisis, she has focused on leveraged finance. However, this specialisation currently poses challenges, particularly for Deutsche Bank, as it faces restrictions from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Nevertheless, the impact on Buvat’s career has been minimal. In an internal memo obtained by eFinancialCareers, Deutsche Bank announced that Buvat, alongside Mark Lewellen (the bank’s head of DCM origination), will assume the positions of co-heads of capital markets, EMEA. This division encompasses debt capital markets (DCM), equity capital markets (ECM), leveraged debt capital markets (LDCM), and strategic equity transactions group (SETG). Both Buvat and Lewellen will report to Henrik Johnsson, co-head of the investment bank in EMEA.

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