The surprise resignation of John Rolls, the top executive at Deutsche Bank's U.S. operation, has triggered speculation that the German bank's further expansion in the United States will largely be run from London.
Analysts said Mr. Rolls' departure is directly linked to a recent decision by Deutsche Bank to develop global capital market operations under the direction of management at the bank's London-based investment banking unit, Morgan Grenfell.
Mr. Rolls has been replaced by Carter McClelland, 50, the head of U.S. investment banking operations.
"John Rolls might well have felt his nose had been put out of joint," said Ian McEwen, a banking analyst with Merrill Lynch in London. "It is fairly clear that the people in London have decided all the strings in investment banking have to come through their hands."
Mr. McEwen added that Deutsche Bank remains well placed to pursue its ambitions, even if it is still limited in how far it can expand investment banking in the United States so long as restrictions separating commercial and investment banking remain in place.
Mr. Rolls, 54, has taken a new job as president and chief executive of Thermion Systems International, a commercial aerospace venture based in Minden, Nev. He holds a major stake in the company, which was started up two years ago.
Christiana Allaire, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank in New York, said Mr. Rolls left after decididing he wanted to pursue something "entrepreneurial." She added that the bank expected a smooth transition and is "well-positioned for the future."
In recent years, Deutsche Bank has more than doubled its assets in the United States to more than $50 billion after an ambitious expansion led by Mr. Rolls.
Both Mr. Rolls and Mr. McClelland were uavailable for comment.
Mr. Rolls was chief financial officer at United Technolgies before joining Detusche Bank in 1992.