German asset manager DWS has created a new digital strategy, products and solutions team to align all of its activities related to digital currencies and assets, digital channels and APIs, as it prepares for “further digital disruption” in the industry.
DWS has hired Deutsche Bank’s André Bajorat to lead the newly-created team, which will become part of its product division.
Bajorat will join DWS on 1 September, from Deutsche Bank where he most recently served as head of strategy at its Corporate Bank.
Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 2020, Bajorat founded FIGO, a Banking-as-a-Service fintech company licensed by German regulator BaFin, which he also led as CEO from 2014 to 2019.
Bajorat has also invested in and advised various fintech and private equity companies, including Finleap. Between 2016 and 2019, he was a member of bitkom’s executive board and a mentor for various start-up accelerators, including Axel Springer Plug and Play. In 2011, he founded the platform paymentsandbanking.com.
DWS has made a second appointment from Deutsche Bank to build out the new team. Alexander Bechtel is set to join DWS on 1 October, and will be responsible for the digital strategy team.
At Deutsche Bank, Bechtel was head of digital assets and currencies strategy for the Corporate Bank.
In addition, Barbara Nitschke, who was previously responsible for digital asset management under DWS CEO Stefan Hoops, will assume responsibility for digital products and solutions in the newly-created team.
Hoops, who is also chairman of the executive board at DWS, said: “The asset management industry is experiencing a digital transformation similar to what we have been seeing in other financial services sectors.
“Digital technologies such as blockchain, application programming interfaces (APIs) and data science are impacting all parts of the asset management value chain. As a result, we have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that DWS is prepared for further digital disruption in our industry and to enable our clients and shareholders to benefit from the opportunities that come with it.”
In his new role, Bajorat will report to Manfred Bauer, global head of the product division and a member of the DWS executive board, while Nitschke and Bechtel will both report to Bajorat.