Morgan jobs in danger

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THE 2,000 employees of Morgan Stanley in London fear drastic job cuts if the proposed merger with SG Warburg goes through in four to five months' time.

They believe they are likely to bear the brunt of the redundancies that will inevitably follow, as the two banks strip out their overlapping businesses. Some expect more than 1,000 jobs to be lost in London. Warburg is felt to have the stronger franchisein most areas of business in the UK and Europe, which will probably mean that the equivalent teams at Morgan Stanley will have to go.

"It's the end of the world as we know it," said one Morgan Stanley employee. "It's a huge deal, but I think they've just pulled the rug from under us."

There was also concern at Warburg. But staff there were more confident that their job losses would be relatively few. There is a large overlap between the banks in areas such as UK and European equities, and while Morgan Stanley has some highly rated analysts, Warburg is by far the better known name.

SG Warburg Securities, the bank's securities arm, was voted by investment institutions the best London broker in this year's Extel survey of investment analysts. Morgan Stanley, however, was 11th in the total rankings and 15th in the UK equities rankings.

Morgan Stanley's safest London employees are likely to be those working in proprietary trading, financial derivatives and fixed-interest markets, areas where Warburg is relatively weak.

In the US, however, many of the 600 Warburg employees are likely to be the first to experience redundancy.

The job cuts will mean a sharp reverse for Morgan Stanley's aggressive recruitment policy over the last few years. As part of a drive to increase business in Europe, it has taken on around 500 people in the last two years. Second Big Bang, page 3