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Fox-Pitt bows to $200m Swiss Re offer

ONE HUNDRED members of staff at Fox-Pitt Kelton, the privately- owned investment bank, are set to realise an average of $2m (pounds 1.2m) each following a $200m takeover by Swiss Re, the reinsurance giant, writes Andrew Verity.

Fox-Pitt yesterday announced a paper offer from Swiss Re to acquire 100 per cent of the company, which specialises in advising on mergers and acquisitions in the financial services industry. The purchase price, put at $200m but not disclosed by the bank, will be shared between 100 employees who jointly own the company. It employs 200 in total.

Anthony Hamilton, executive chairman of the group, is expected to make more than pounds 6m from the sale of a 5 per cent stake in the group. He said many approaches from rival investment banks had been received, but until the Swiss Re offer all had been knocked back because of fears that staff would defect to rival banks.

The group, founded by Oliver Fox-Pitt and Robin Kelton in 1971, has thrived on offering specialist corporate finance advice to insurers and banks. "A number of companies wanted to acquire us, but the identify of the company would have been lost and people would not have had the same reason to stay," Mr Hamilton said.

"This gives us the financial support we need without destroying the quality of the firm. They don't overlap with any of our investment banking activities."