Deutsche Bank appoints new general counsel from German pharma giant Merck

Friederike Rotsch will replace Karen Kuder, who has moved to DWS as chief administrative officer

Rotsch will join Deutsche Bank in September Photo courtesy of Deutsche Bank

Germany’s largest lender Deutsche Bank has hired Friederike Rotsch as its new general counsel, replacing Karen Kuder, who is moving to the bank’s asset management business DWS.

Rotsch will join in September from German healthcare, lifesciences and electronics business Merck, where she has worked for almost 18 years. She has served as group GC for the last nine of those, where she was responsible for legal, compliance, data privacy, trademarks, risk and other corporate governance matters. Prior to becoming GC, she was head of group internal auditing and head of group legal services.

At Deutsche Bank, Rotsch will be responsible for all of the bank's legal matters. She will report to the bank’s chief administrative officer Stefan Simon.

Simon said: “Friederike is renowned in Germany as a seasoned and highly respected general counsel. We assessed a broad and diverse range of candidates, across industries and regions, and she was the outstanding choice to take our legal department forward. I look forward to working with Friederike to develop our advisory capabilities further and support the sustainable growth ambitions of the bank.”

Before joining Merck, Rotsch worked in private practice at German firm Hengeler Mueller.

She said: “I have followed the transformation of Deutsche Bank as an interested observer for a number of years and am now keen to contribute to its next chapter of remarkable progress.”

Kuder, meantime, will focus on DWS full time having become chief administrative officer at the asset manager in November. She has spent three years in the GC role at the bank after taking over from previous GC Florian Drinhausen in May 2020. Kuder has been with Deutsche Bank for more than two decades, working in a variety of legal roles for the company in Frankfurt, London, New York and Luxembourg, before becoming associate GC in 2014.

DWS this month announced that its chairman Karl von Rohr will step down in October. That follows the exit of CEO Asoka Woehrmann last year after the company was caught up in a greenwashing scandal that led to its offices being raided by the police.

DWS had €821bn of assets under management at the end of last year.

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