Deutsche Bank is looking for a few good military men and women. Company leaders believe they found one in retired Florida Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael Fleming, hired to run their Jacksonville global business services center.
Fleming, who up until Aug. 31 was the commanding officer of the Florida Army National Guard, is now responsible for leading one of the city’s newest and fastest-growing employers. Deutsche Bank has grown to 800 employees since opening the center in 2008.
“If I could have drawn up a dream job, this would have been it,” said Fleming, 55, a Jacksonville native. “I get to manage people, it’s intellectually stimulating and I get to brand Jacksonville.”
“If you get to brand your hometown, I don’t think there’s anything better than that.”
The Jacksonville center, located off Gate Parkway, is an internal operations support center for the German global investment bank that provides office support for products such as equities, derivatives and foreign exchanges. Deutsche Bank has 80,849 employees and operates in 72 countries, but does not have a branch banking presence in the United States. It does operate extensive investment banking services in the U.S., however. The Jacksonville global services center is one of only six of its kind around the world.
Fleming said the many parallels between the banking world and military service such as training, process improvements and personnel management will help him lead the Jacksonville staff, which is expected to reach its full capacity of 1,000 by the end of 2011.
“My job here is to help people be successful,” Fleming said, adding that he hopes to find ways to help the Jacksonville center run more efficiently.
He also sees his role at Deutsche Bank as an opportunity to support military veterans.
Fleming was among the Deutsche Bank and senior Department of Defense officials who rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Sept. 1 to celebrate the launch of the bank’s U.S. military veterans outreach program to attract, retain and develop former military personnel. The program also includes a new organization, Veterans on Wall Street, to promote career development and support for veterans at Deutsche Bank and vets who are current or prospective employees of the financial services industry.
“The military consistently produces great leaders at all levels of their organization, and we see tremendous potential for Deutsche Bank and other companies to utilize the leadership skills and training they receive during their service to their country,” said Seth Waugh, CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas, in a press release about the program.
Tony Plath, a national expert in the banking industry who teaches at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, wasn’t surprised by Deutsche’s decision to hire Fleming, particularly in a military town like Jacksonville.
“That’s what it’s going to take to win the hearts and minds down there,” Plath said.
He said it’s common in the banking industry to hire former and current military.
Amy McGeorge, CEO of the Jacksonville recruiting services provider Talagy, said people with military experience are good at working with complex global organizations and with compliance-related activities.
McGeorge said employers in the banking, financial, engineering and medical industries are particularly interested in employee candidates with military experience.
Jacksonville-based ReMilNet LLC specializes in placing members of the military in short-term business operations projects and full-time specialty fields. Company President Sara Slettebo said some military characteristics that are attractive to employers are not easily taught.
“Military in general have good strong work ethics. They’re very dedicated and a lot of times, they’re really good leaders.”
After 30 years in the military, Michael Fleming recently took the top post at Deutsche Bank’s global services center in Jacksonville.
Education: Wolfson High School, class of 1972; Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Ala., bachelor’s in marketing with a minor in communications, 1982; University of North Florida, Master of Business Administration, 1984.
Employment history: U.S. Marine Corps, enlisted and reserves from 1974 to 1983; Florida Army National Guard Reserves from 1983 to 1987; American National Bank from 1983 to 1987; General Electric Credit Corp., 1987; Florida Army National Guard, active duty from 1987 to Aug. 31, 2010.
Career highlights: Assistant professor of military science at the University of Florida; stationed at The Pentagon twice; congressional fellow working on Capitol Hill for U.S. Rep. Sonny Montgomery, D-Miss., and the House Veterans Affairs Committee; National Security Fellow at Harvard University.
Highest position: Assistant Adjutant General, the commanding officer of the Florida Army National Guard, leading 10,000 soldiers.