People and Business: Close call

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The Independent Online
CLOSE BROTHERS, the closest thing London has left to an independent merchant bank, has nicked corporate finance big cheese John Barker from Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.

Mr Barker was a director and global head of engineering at Kleinwort, and he will seek to grow Close's business through its recently acquired corporate finance company in Frankfurt, Freyberg Close.

The bank already has close links with the Continent. One of its mainstays over the years has been its leasing business involving German printing presses.