As he ascended to increasingly powerful positions in Deutsche Bank’s investment bank, eventually becoming its chief, Mr. Jain built a cadre of loyal underlings who became known throughout the bank as “Anshu’s army.” Their path to power and wealth was smoothed by Deutsche Bank’s aggressive efforts to weaken German banking regulations and limit oversight of the bank’s operations.
The trades Mr. Jain made popular earned the bank billions of dollars. Within the lead-up to the 2008 crisis, his team was one in every of only a few on Wall Street that bet that the costs of mortgage-backed securities would fall, a triumph of foresight that belonged squarely to Mr. Jain, Mr. Folkerts-Landau said.
But among the bank’s complicated trades also caused problems. In a single case it was accused of using derivative trades to assist the Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena hide losses, though judgments against Deutsche Bank in an Italian court were later overturned on appeal.
In 2012, the bank’s board appointed Mr. Jain and a German banker, Jürgen Fitschen, as co-chief executives. Founded in 1870, Deutsche Bank, the country’s largest financial institution, was by then so powerful in Germany that its leaders were sometimes viewed as quasi-governmental, exerting strong influence over German politicians.
At Deutsche Bank, Mr. Jain faced obstacles as an immigrant, including episodes of racism, colleagues said. “The local media insisted on declaring, in nearly every story, that he was Indian,” Mr. Enrich wrote. Mr. Fitschen, he added, “apologetically explained to at least one colleague that Germans didn’t look fondly upon outsiders within the banking sector.”
Mr. Jain never desired to talk in regards to the discrimination — at the least not at work. He emphasized specializing in business and using his skills as a salesman to beat prejudice. “You progress on, charm and win,” Mr. Jain’s friend Mr. Dhar said. “That was his way.”