Our compensation framework aligns incentives for sustainable performance at all levels of Deutsche Bank whilst enhancing the transparency of compensation decisions and their impact on shareholders and employees. The framework puts an appropriate balance on Fixed Pay over Variable Compensation (VC) – together the “Total Compensation”.
In 2016, we introduced a new concept of “Reference Total Compensation” for each employee, that describes a reference value for their role. This reference provides our employees orientation on their Fixed Pay and VC. Actual individual Total Compensation can be at, above or below the Reference Total Compensation, based on Group affordability, and performance expectations having been satisfied at Group, divisional and individual levels, as determined by Deutsche Bank at its sole discretion.
Fixed Pay is used to compensate employees for their skills, experience and competencies, commensurate with the requirements, size and scope of their role. The appropriate level of Fixed Pay is determined with reference to the prevailing market rates for each role, internal comparisons and applicable regulatory requirements. It plays a key role in permitting us to meet our strategic objectives by attracting and retaining the right talent. For the majority of our employees, Fixed Pay is the primary compensation component, and the share of fixed compensation within Total Compensation is greater than 50 %. This is appropriate to many businesses and will continue to be a significant feature of Total Compensation going forward.
Variable Compensation allows to differentiate individual performance and to drive behavior through appropriate incentive systems that can positively influence culture. It also allows for flexibility in the cost base. VC generally consists of two elements – the “Group VC Component” and the “Individual VC Component”. The “Individual VC Component” is delivered either in the form of “Individual VC” (generally starting at the senior level of Vice President (VP) and above) or as “Recognition Award” (generally starting at the senior level of Assistant Vice President (AVP) and below). Under our compensation framework, there continues to be no guarantee of VC in an existing employment relationship.
Key components of the compensation framework
The Group VC Component is based on one of the overarching goals of the compensation framework – to strengthen the link between VC and the performance of the Group. The Management Board decided to align the “Group VC Component” directly and in a manner comprehensible for the employees to Deutsche Bank’s achievements in reaching strategic targets. To assess progress towards the strategic aspirations, four Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are utilized: Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) Capital Ratio (fully loaded), Leverage Ratio, Adjusted Costs, and Post-Tax Return on Tangible Equity (RoTE). These four KPIs represent important metrics for the capital, risk, cost and the revenue profile of our bank and provide an indication of the sustainable performance of Deutsche Bank.
Individual VC takes into consideration a number of financial and non-financial factors, including the applicable divisional performance, the employee’s individual performance and conduct, the comparison with the employee’s peer group and retention considerations.
Recognition Awards provide the opportunity to acknowledge and reward outstanding contributions made by the employees of lower seniority levels in a transparent and timely manner. Generally, the size of the Recognition Award Program is directly linked to a set percentage of Fixed Pay for the eligible population and it is paid out twice a year, based on a review of nominations and contributions at divisional level.
Total Compensation is complemented by employee benefits which may be linked to employment or seniority, but have no direct link to performance. They are granted in accordance with applicable local market practice and requirements. Recognition Awards and benefits (including company pension schemes) are not part of an employee’s Reference Total Compensation.