If the Germans were a cricketing lot, Dresdner Bank would be a slow bowler who likes to take a long, measured run-up. The intention of Germany's second-largest bank to make London, where it has a minor presence, into its investment banking centre has been well flagged.
The interest in Kleinwort Benson has for months been one of the City's worst-kept secrets, pushing the British merchant bank's share price almost weekly to new heights.
The greatest pressure to act has come from Dresdner's own peers. Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest, has moved into top gear in its plan to build Morgan Grenfell in London into the hub of its investment banking ambitions. Commerzbank, Germany's number three, has just bought Jupiter Tyndall, expanding its fund management business.
In December, Jurgen Sarrazin, Dresdner's chairman, said: "For a large international bank that wants to play in the concert of investment banks it is essential to be present in an appropriate way in London."Reuse content