$10m Deutsche raid on Merrill

Deutsche Bank has poached a senior executive from Merrill Lynch for a reputed two-year package worth between $5m and $10m (£3m-£6m) to head its global foreign exchange, fixed-income, money markets and derivatives businesses based in London.

The recruitment of Edson Mitchell, 41, previously world co-head of Merrill Lynch's fixed-interest division, is seen by City observers as key to Deutsche's recently announced strategy to build a truly global investment bank based on its British Morgan Grenfell subsidiary.

Michael Dobson, Morgan Grenfell's chief executive, and the man in charge of building Deutsche's global investment bank, enthused over Mr Mitchell's appointment as head of global markets.

"It is a very important position, controlling four businesses worldwide. Mr Mitchell has played a key role in their [Merrill's] fixed-interest, exchange and derivatives operations. He's a pretty big figure on Wall Street." He refused to comment on Mr Mitchell's salary.

The chief executive said global markets already employed up to 2,000 worldwide. He said there would be more hiring of top people in coming months as part of Deutsche's drive to build a big global equities house based in London.

The reshaping of investment banking worldwide continues apace, driven by intense competition and the globalisation of finance. Rumours swept the London stock market yesterday that Barclays Bank was planning to buy Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), the Wall Street securities house, for between $1bn and $1.5bn.

A BZW spokesman said last night: "We do not comment on market speculation. We are reviewing our strategic direction of the business in the USA."

All Barclays' US operations are under the BZW investment banking umbrella, and BZW's deputy chief executive, Donald Brydon, began a comprehensive strategic review at Christmas expected to be completed by the summer, according to sources.

NatWest Group was thought to be interested in DLJ earlier this year.

One banking analyst said yesterday that Barclays buying DLJ would be "a good strategy, if growing investment banking is the right thing to do. Barclays already does well in foreign exchange and asset management. This would add enormously to its equities distribution capability in the US."

Salomon Brothers, the giant US securities house, also announced yesterday that its London-based European chief executive officer, Stephen Posford, would retire on his 50th birthday in September next year.

Rodney Berens, currently a managing director, will join Mr Posford as co-chief executive officer this October and take over fully next year. Mr Posford has been a dominant figure in developing Salomon's European operations.

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