Decade that shook UK merchant banking

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The Independent Online
It has taken just a decade for the upper crust of the UK's merchant banking and stockbroking sectors, with hundreds of years of independence behind it, to fall into the hands of foreign owners.

In 1985 Phillips & Drew, the stockbroker, was sold to Union Bank of Switzerland, which this year announced plans to merge with Swiss Banking Corporation.

In 1989 Morgan Grenfell was bought up by Deutsche Bank of Germany and renamed Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.

In 1995, Barings collapsed under the weight of the pounds 850m of debts racked up on options trading by rogue dealer Nick Leeson. The shell of the company was bought by ING of Holland for pounds 1. In the same year Kleinwort Benson was sold to Dresdner Bank of Germany. SG Warburg was sold to Swiss Bank Corporation, while Smith New Court was snapped up by Merrill Lynch, the US investment house that this year bought fund manager Mercury Asset Management.

This year parts of BZW were sold to Credit Suisse First Boston and parts of NatWest Markets went to Bankers Trust of the US.

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