Cultural change – laying the foundations for our future success

In brief

  • Cultural change is core component of Strategy 2015+
  • New values and beliefs defined as a result of intensive consultations
  • Integration into business policies and day-to-day business conduct

Culture is at the heart of how any business operates. It reflects the values and beliefs that a company stands for. It guides behavior, decision-making and most importantly how the organization serves its clients and society at large. We firmly believe that corporate culture is one of the key factors to the bank’s long-term success. That is why cultural change is a core component of Strategy 2015+.

Going forward, Deutsche Bank aims to be at the forefront of cultural change in the financial services sector. Accomplishing this transition is one of our prime objectives. Deutsche Bank can only be strong and successful if everything we do is built on a sound foundation. We have reaffirmed our commitment to our stakeholders: clients, shareholders, staff and society and wish to highlight the valuable role that banks play in the economy and the communities they serve.

Integrity and responsibility are core principles on which cultural change rests. That is why, in 2013, we defined a clear set of values and beliefs, established guiding principles, tightened the bank's control environment and incorporated the values and beliefs in our performance management processes.

Intensive consultation to define new values and beliefs

Deutsche Bank‘s new values
and beliefs – our principles

Deutsche Bank‘s new values and beliefs – Our Principles (graphic)

In 2013, Deutsche Bank launched the most extensive staff consultation in recent years, asking some 52,000 employees to contribute their opinions, expectations and ideas. Their feedback was complemented by in-depth discussions and workshops at the senior management level. As an outcome of this process, we defined six core values for Deutsche Bank: Integrity, Sustainable Performance, Client Centricity, Innovation, Discipline and Partnership. Each of the values rests on a set of three beliefs to guide us in everything we do. All top 250 senior leaders unanimously subscribed to the new values and beliefs at the Senior Management Conference on July 10, 2013. The bank announced its new values and beliefs to employees and the public on July 24, 2013.

Our values will guide our behavior in future. They will help us to conduct business with the utmost integrity, to create long-term value for our shareholders and to nurture the best talent. We will maintain an unwavering focus on serving our clients effectively. At the same time, we will work to constantly improve our processes and encourage accountability and entrepreneurial drive.

Our values


Sustainable Performance

Client Centricity










Our beliefs

We live by the highest standards of integrity in everything we say and do

We drive value for shareholders by putting long-term success over shortterm gain

We earn our clients’ trust by placing them at the core of our organisation

We foster innovation by valuing intellectual curiosity in our people

We protect the firm’s resources by always thinking and acting like owners

We build diverse teams to generate better ideas and reach more balanced decisions

We will do what is right – not just what is allowed

We encourage entrepreneurial spirit which responsibly balances risks and returns

We deliver true value by understanding and serving our clients’ needs best

We enable our clients’ success by constantly seeking suitable solutions to their problems

We live by the rules and hold ourselves accountable to deliver on our promises – no excuses

We put the common goals of the firm before ‘silo’ loyalty by trusting, respecting and working with each other

We communicate openly; we invite, provide and respect challenging views

We pursue lasting performance by developing, nurturing and investing in the best talent, and by managing based on merit

We strive to pursue mutually beneficial client relationships in which the value created is shared fairly

We continuously improve our processes and platforms by embracing new and better ways of doing things

We achieve operational excellence by striving to ‘get right the first time’

We act as responsible partners with all our stakeholders and regulators, and in serving the wider interests of society

Raising awareness of the values and beliefs across the bank

The bank expects every one of its employees to live its values and beliefs in their everyday work as this is the only way the new principles will have any material impact. With this in mind, the bank communicated the core elements of the values and beliefs to all our employees through a variety of channels, including workshops, townhall meetings and many bilateral discussions. The bank underpins these values by including them in objective setting and performance evaluations. Most importantly, the bank’s approach is to start at the top, with senior managers living by the highest standards of integrity in all that they do and setting an example to guide staff behavior.

Cultural change affects all parts of Deutsche Bank. Essential actions range from changing the way we reward our management and people to strengthening governance and control mechanisms to changing the way we conduct our day-to-day business. Many of these steps have already been implemented, but we continue to improve our policies and conduct by embracing new and better ways of doing things.

In a survey launched in November 2013, 94 % of Deutsche Bank’s employees confirmed that they are aware of our new values and beliefs. This is a good sign that we are on the right track.

Cultural change is often met with skepticism and the process takes time. But we are committed to implementing cultural change across the organization. It is without doubt the most crucial part of Strategy 2015+ and the key to Deutsche Bank’s long-term success. Ultimately, we will be measured by the way we combine our performance culture with a culture of responsibility.

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