Deutsche Bank hires AQR Capital technology chief for €13 billion digital push

Neal Pawar will take on the role of chief information officer and join Deutsche Bank's executive committee in early September.

By Hayley McDowell

The chief technology officer at AQR Capital is set to leave the global hedge fund to join Deutsche Bank as its group chief information officer.

Deutsche Bank said in a statement that Neal Pawar will take on the senior role based in New York as of early September, and will also become a member of the group management committee. He will report to Bernd Leukert, who is also due to start a new role at the bank in September, leading technology, data and innovation across the business.

Pawar joins Deutsche Bank from AQR Capital where he was formerly chief technology officer and principal. Prior to AQR, he was a managing director and chief information officer at UBS Wealth Management based in Zurich.

“In our recent strategy update we identified technology as a cornerstone for success,” said Frank Kuhnke, group chief operating officer. “Someone of Neal’s calibre and experience deciding to join Deutsche Bank further strengthens our capabilities as we modernise and simplify our technology for the benefit of our clients. Having announced Bernd Leukert as our future management board member responsible for technology, data and innovation, Neal represents another key hire who will complement the experts we have at the bank.”

Pawar replaces the current information chief, Al Tarasuik, who has been handed a new role as senior strategic advisor to Leukart. Tarasuik first joined the German bank in 2015, and has held various senior technology roles since then, including chief information security officer and chief security officer.

“I would like to thank Al for his strong personal and expert leadership in defining and executing our technology journey,” Kuhnke added. “He has revamped our Information Security framework and has been vital in implementing our cloud and data centre strategy. We look forward to benefitting from his expertise in his new role of senior strategic advisor.”

One of Pawar’s main objectives is to further Deutsche Bank’s strategy of being a fully digitised commercial and global transaction bank, where he will oversee its planned €13 billion spend into technology and digitisation. 

For securities services, it already has made a number of moves to enhance their digital capabilities, and earlier this year, it hired Samar Sen, a former senior digital expert from BNP Paribas, as global head of digital products where he would be responsible for driving the bank’s strategy and use of artificial intelligence (AI) and distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The senior appointment follows Deutsche Bank’s major business restructure, which includes plans to transition its prime brokerage and electronic equities divisions to BNP Paribas, as well as moving the global securities services role from London to New York.