This article empirically examines the nexuses between corporate governance, intangible resources, CEO traits, and financial performance. In contrast to prior research, this study examines these relationships in a longitudinal manner focusing on Deutsche Bank for the 1957–2019 period. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first of its kind. Based on a novel hand collected dataset, our analysis suggests a significant positive relationship between intangible assets i.e., intellectual capital efficiency and financial performance measured by, return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). Our results further suggest that human capital efficiency drive the financial performance of Deutsche Bank at all times especially, during the economic malaise periods, suggesting that human capital is the main source of profitability for the Deutsche Bank. Additional results suggest that larger board size diminishes the impact of intangible resources on financial performance when the former CEO assumes board's chairmanship. Finally, our results suggest that CEO's education quality is an important determinant of financial performance during the crisis. Results observed in this study have important economic and policy implications for banks operating in the similar environments.