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Anshu Jain, Deutsche Bank Chief in a Pivotal Era, Dies at 59

(Bloomberg) -- Anshu Jain, Cantor Fitzgerald’s president who was known for his time leading Deutsche Bank traders into the lender’s investment banking heights, died five years after being diagnosed with duodenal cancer. He was 59.

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“We are deeply saddened that our beloved husband, son, and father, Anshu Jain, passed away overnight,” his family said in a statement Sarturday. He had been president of Cantor Fitzgerald since 2017, and before that was co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank AG.

Jain outlived his initial diagnosis, made in January 2017, by four years “through a combination of exhaustive personal research, tactical skill, amazing caregivers, and sheer force of will,” Jain’s family wrote.

“There are few reliable statistics for life expectancy for stomach cancer in the third, fourth, and fifth years, because so few people survive these milestones,” they wrote. “To his last day, Anshu stood by his lifelong determination to ‘not be a statistic.’”

Born in Jaipur, India, the son of a civil servant, Jain rose to Wall Street’s highest ranks and transformed one of Europe’s most prominent lending institutions into a global trading powerhouse. He nurtured generations of traders as he rose through the ranks of Deutsche Bank. Many of the risk-takers and bankers he led have gone on to work for Wall Street’s largest banks and technology firms.

“Anshu’s intelligence was intimidating to me,” said Boaz Weinstein, the Saba Capital Management founder who worked closely with Jain at Deutsche Bank. “In the early years I would review notes before our meetings. He was a cut above everyone I met in the industry. Incredible curiosity and a lightning fast mind. He was a towering figure in my life.”

Jain -- frequently flying between key offices in London and New York -- most recently recruited teams of traders from larger rivals to work at Cantor Fitzgerald. He and Cantor CEO Howard Lutnick, expanded ambitions in trading, prime brokerage, dealmaking and forging deeper relationships with global investors.

“Anshu was the consummate professional who brought a wealth of experience and wisdom to his role,” Lutnick said in a statement. “He will be remembered as an extraordinary leader, partner, and dear friend who will be greatly missed by all of us and by all who knew him.”

Jain took a large personal stake in the firm, and built such a close connection to Lutnick that the duo spent the first working hour of each morning speaking from across continents, according to a 2018 profile.

‘Intellect and Charm’

“Anshu always stood out because of his intellect and charm,” billionaire investor Marc Lasry, co-founder of Avenue Capital Management, said in an interview. “You enjoyed his company and thoughts, which is rare of someone in his position.”

Jain studied economics at Sri Ram College of Commerce, then graduated from business school at University of Massachusetts at Amherst -- where he learned the inner workings of derivatives. He held positions at Kidder Peabody & Co. and Merrill Lynch before following his mentor, the late Edson Mitchell, to Deutsche Bank in 1995. Over time, he made the bank a fixture on Wall Street as his team snapped up work with hedge funds, competing with financial giants including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc.

“Anshu Jain played a key role in expanding Deutsche Bank’s position in our global business with companies and institutional investors,” Alexander Wynaendts, chairman of the supervisory board, said in an e-mailed statement. “Today, this is of strategic importance not just for Deutsche Bank, but for Europe as a financial centre.”

As he spearheaded expansions into credit derivatives and emerging markets, Jain was named head of the investment bank in 2010, where he took on responsibilities for corporate finance and transaction banking units. The first non-European to rise to the helm of the German firm, Jain took the co-CEO position within two years alongside Juergen Fitschen. He overhauled the bank’s equities strategy and management after losses during the credit crunch in 2008.

Tumultuous Year

Jain’s early tenure at Deutsche Bank was met with a cascade of bad news -- a probe of tax evasion in carbon markets and raids by police and tax investigators -- making his first year tumultuous. He and Fitschen steered the bank through an internal probe into possible money laundering by Russian clients just a few months after Deutsche settled a probe into interest-rates rigging. On June 7, 2015, Jain resigned amid the tumult, and found his way to Cantor two years later.

In his personal life, Jain spent time supporting wildlife and supported wildlife conservation groups across the world. He loved to play and watch cricket and golf, and was an aficionado of Bollywood movies. He is survived by his wife Geetika, whom he met when he was 17, and their two children.

(Adds comment from Lutnick in 8th paragraph)

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