Bonuses reveal new order at Warburg

The first day of trading yesterday for SBC Warburg left staff at the newly combined investment bank with a clearer idea of who was in, and who should be looking for another job.

Yesterday's award of retention bonuses, to be paid to Warburg employees in a mixture of cash and equity over the next three years, gave a clear indication of where employees stand in the new hierarchy. All staff have been interviewed by top management over the past two weeks.

Later this week the firm will reveal the positions of its 500 middle managers, adding detail to the organisational plan circulated internally last week. Insiders said that several senior members of the old Warburg regime have been left in limbo during the reorganisation.

The award of retention bonuses left some staff pleased, and others worried for their future. "There were heavy differentials," one member of staff said.

A member of Warburg's corporate finance team, which is said to have been targeted for cuts by SBC managers, said colleagues had been under- whelmed by the size of the offers, which represent about pounds 50,000 per employee.

However, some staff were offered up to twice their annual salary to remain loyal to the merged group.

The bonus announcements represent a key element in the attempts of Marcel Ospel, chief executive of SBC Warburg, to force through a lightning-strike merger without causing wholesale desertions among staff of the British bank. Mr Ospel said he will be spending pounds 60m to ensure that the most valuable Warburg staff acquired as part of the pounds 860m purchase remain loyal to the combined Swiss-British house.

About 1,000 of the combined group's 11,000 staff are expected to be cut, less than the initial rumours of 2,000 job losses. "You need a bit of a shake-up so that everyone gets forced intellectually and emotionally to absorb this new wave forward," Mr Ospel said.

The award of retention bonuses came on the same day as the release of figures by Acquisitions Monthly showed that Warburg was knocked off the top perch for the value of mergers and acquisitions work in the first six months of 1995.

Lazard Brothers, which acted for Glaxo in its takeover of Wellcome, came in first with deals totalling pounds 10.8bn. Baring Brothers, the collapsed merchant bank recently sold to ING, the Dutch group, came in second.

Corporate financiers were encouraged by news that the value of all British transactions in the first half of 1995 exceeded the figure for the whole of 1994. However, Philip Healey, editor of Acquisitions Monthly, warned that the consolidation in the investment banking community, which has seen three British houses fall to Continental banks in recent months, would lead to a shake-out among client lists.

"It will be interesting to see how many UK clients will begin to feel that they want a British-owned bank around them," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore