Jobs axe falls on 40 at SBC Warburg

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The Independent Online

The threat of redundancy hanging over staff at SBC Warburg fell on at least 40 people yesterday.

The company declined to specify exactly where the axe fell, but did confirm that the departures were mainly among former Warburg staff.

The job losses were also concentrated in areas of the newly-merged SG Warburg and Swiss Bank businesses where there was job duplication.

About four traders are believed to have left Warburg's gilt-edged market- making desk, according to Warburg insiders. Around half a dozen floor- traders left Warburg's team at the London International Financial Futures Exchange and about a dozen left Warburg's Treasury operation.

The rest of the departures came from the equity derivatives operations.

According to sources, the staff made redundant have been offered the equivalent of a month's wages for each year of service. This practice, a long tradition at the merchant bank, is said to have caused a row between managers from Warburgs and SBC.

At SBC, two members of the Liffe trading floor team were made redundant. The rest of the staff are awaiting news of new structures and staffing levels expected later this week.

Speculation has also increased that George Feiger, a senior management consultant from McKinsey, will join the executive board of SBC Warburg later this week. Mr Feiger, an expert in merger situations, has been a close adviser of Marcel Ospel, chief executive of SBC Warburg. He is partly responsible for the fast pace of change at the newly-merged bank.

News of the departures was accompanied by the announcement that retail analysts Paul Morris and Rod Whitehead, are set to join SBC Warburg from Goldman Sachs.