By Arno Schuetze
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> has no plans to sell its asset management business, its chief executive said in a letter to employees in which he called for them to focus on solving the German lender's problems.
"Deutsche Asset Management is and will remain an essential part of our business model," John Cryan said in the letter, which was published on the bank's website on Monday.
Recent reports had said that Deutsche's management was considering a sale of the asset management business.
"Do not allow yourself to become distracted by speculation about alleged mergers or sales plans," Cryan said, adding "We have enough on our plate to solve on our own, and we intend to concentrate on this for now."
Deutsche's shares were down 3.0 percent at 13.24 euros at 1320 GMT, underperforming in a weaker market.
Speculation about Deutsche has been stoked by news that its top executives held talks with rival Commerzbank on a potential combination in August, but shelved the project as they first want to complete their restructurings, sources close to the matter have said.
While Cryan said that the bank was making progress with cleaning up the sins of the past and with cutting jobs, Deutsche Bank staff should also look ahead.
"Our work is not just about pursuing restructuring", he said, warning that a particularly cautious approach or a hierarchical mindset of some staff may prevent progress.
The strategic overhaul and the uncertainty about jobs have dented the morale among Deutsche staff, Cryan admitted earlier this year.
The bank is even discussing potential deeper cuts to cope with rock-bottom interest rates, increasing regulation and a competitive home market.
In his letter, Cryan urged staff to adapt a new mindset, to generate their own ideas and to take their own decisions.
"Each of us has a responsibility... Trust yourself to make decisions instead of waiting for an instruction from above."
"We should be more daring and think a bit more like entrepreneurs," Cryan said. "You are best placed to see what could be changed and what could be improved. Often it is the small steps that bring us farthest forward."
(Additional reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Alexander Smith)