Senior executives at Deutsche Bank are jostling for position as the German lender prepares to appoint leaders for its investment bank and regional management before Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen become co-chief executives in May.

Jain, the bank's 49-year-old India-born investment banking chief, and Fitschen, the 63-year-old German head of regional management, were expected to make senior appointments before a gathering of top managers in April, three people familiar with the bank's thinking said.

While final decisions have yet to be made, two sources within the bank said the reshuffle may see Robert Rankin, currently chief executive of Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific, take over some of the responsibilities held by Fitschen.

Rankin and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Rankin, an Australian, was hired from UBS in 2009 where he helped build the Swiss bank's investment banking franchise to become the Asia region's top fee earner.

In 2010, Deutsche had a banner year in Asia equities, securing roles on the year's landmark AIA <1299.HK> and Agricultural Bank of China <601288.SS> initial public offerings. In July 2010, Rankin hired former UBS colleague and China dealmaker Henry Cai to run Deutsche Bank's corporate finance business.

Fresh appointments are also expected at the top of the investment bank, traditionally the bank's cash cow. Jain has said he does not see the need to radically change strategy, and instead will focus on winning market share as rivals pull back.

But the bank faces a dilemma. It cannot promote all 15 members of the investment bank executive committee installed in 2010. At the same time, the bank needs to appoint a successor to fill Jain's boots as he takes on additional responsibilities as group co-chief executive.

As a way of not alienating too many of his lieutenants, Deutsche Bank may revive a model of sharing power at the top of the investment bank, just as responsibilities were split between traders and dealmakers before 2010.

At that time, Jain represented traders and Michael Cohrs, his counterpart, represented corporate finance bankers with responsibility for areas such as mergers and acquisitions.

Stephan Leithner, co-head of investment banking coverage and advisory, is in a strong position to become one of the co-chiefs of investment banking, two of the sources familiar with Deutsche Bank's thinking said.

As an Austrian he is a fluent German speaker, and has ties to blue-chip companies in Deutsche Bank's home market. Leithner has also helped build up the European corporate finance franchise, these people said.

In the markets camp Deutsche has at least three strong candidates. Colin Fan, head of credit and emerging markets, Michele Faissola, head of rates and commodities, and Alan Cloete, head of global finance and foreign exchange.

Fan, a Canadian, was responsible for overhauling bond trading in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and as new bank capital rules fundamentally changed the way investment banks can operate.

His key strength is cross asset experience, having previously headed the Asian equities division and in 2008 also taking on responsibility for emerging markets.

Faissola played a key role in developing Deutsche's derivatives trading business and was responsible for cutting down sovereign debt exposure at Deutsche and at Postbank ahead of a market-wide sell-off in these assets.

Faissola has helped improve the bank's global rankings in the commodities business and also represents Deutsche Bank on the board of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, and on the board of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME).

Cloete, a South African by origin, has helped maintain the bank's number one ranking in foreign exchange for seven years in a row.

(Additional reporting by Mike Flaherty and Lawrence White; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter)