Dresdner to hive off DKB

DRESDNER BANK announced plans yesterday to hive off Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, its City investment bank, into a separate legal entity. Insiders say the move may lead to a flotation or merger with another European investment bank.

Dresdner, which bought Kleinwort Benson five years ago, also plans to expand the operation in the next two years to make it a "leading European securities house". More acquisitions to boost the bank's fund management arm are possible.

The announcement of the strategy follows the completion of a report into the bank's future by consultants McKinsey. The review came after the $10bn takeover by Deutsche Bank of Bankers Trust of the US, which highlighted the weakness of Dresdner's position in investment banking and led to a leaking of talent from the firm.