Recruitment `vultures' lie in wait on doorstep of London office

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The Independent Online
The ambulance chasers from headhunting agencies were yesterday waiting on Yamaichi's doorstep early enough to approach members of the 300-strong staff before they were formally informed that they would soon be out of work.

Even a journalist from a tabloid newspaper was surprised to come across the headhunters that early in the day and called them "vultures."

A representative from Parallel International, the recruitment specialists, said the accusation was "a bit rich" and added that the doorstepping exercise was "very fruitful".

Staff were informed of their fate at a 9am meeting. Departmental heads were later instructed to lay off "non-essential" staff as soon as possible.

A Yamaichi spokesman said around 40 employees had been given redundancy notices, but could not provide further details about the full redundancy timetable. He said: "Everybody will lose their job. It's just a question of when." It is expected it will take at least six months to wind down all of Yamaichi's London activities.

Yamaichi was unable to say how much redundancy money its employees would receive. But it confirmed that "all contractual bonuses" would be honoured. Of the 300 staff, some 250 are based at Yamaichi International Europe (YIE), its securities house, and the remainder are employed by Yamaichi Bank (UK) Limited, its London-based commercial bank.

Representatives from Parallel International arrived at YIE's offices at 9am, just as Kenkichi Nakajima, YIE's chief executive, was telling staff that they would lose their jobs.

Parallel said it had received "around a dozen calls" from Yamaichi staff.

The firm also confirmed it had made it on to a short list of selected headhunting agencies doing the rounds at Yamaichi's London offices.