SBC Warburg finalises merger and fills top jobs

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Final details of the merger of SBC Warburg were completed yesterday, with the decision taken on which employees would fill the 500 top posts. The moves come nine weeks after the pounds 860m deal with Swiss Bank was announced.

At the highest level, the 15-man executive committee is dominated by former SBC staff with David Scholey, former chairman and chief executive of Warburg, filling the post of non-executive chairman and only three former Warburg staff taking seats - Colin Buchan, Mark Nicholls and Rodney Ward.

The 13-page document listing the changes covers every division of the global investment bank, and clearly displays the balance of power. Key appointments in all divisions re-inforce the impression that SBC managers dominate most desks in the trading arms of the bank, while Warburg executives maintain their leadership in the corporate finance office.

Mr Nicholls, formerly of Warburg, will continue to run corporate finance. Mr Buchan, former Warburg chief in Hong Kong, will head the whole equities division.

However, in other areas, SBC has asserted its control. In Asian equities, where the two companies' operations overlap, control has been handed to Tutu Agyare. Gary Brinson will head institutional asset management, Andy Siciliano foreign exchange and David Solo will be chairman of the interest rate business.

"The overall feeling is that our guys are bosses at the trading divisions while they are in charge of equities," one insider at SBC Warburg said. "There are a great many large egos in places like this, so everyone is feeling dead chuffed or fed-up."

Brian Keelan, the corporate financier who has previously provoked the ire of Warburg staff, is deputy head of global equity capital markets. Jon Wood, of SBC's arbitrage business, has taken charge of Continental European Equities Proprietary.

Piers Von Simson, the Warburg corporate financier, has joined his brother, David, formerly of SBC, on the investment banking board. The publication of the list is a testimony to the fast pace of change being forced by Marcel Ospel, SBC Warburgs chief executive. The speed contrasts sharply with the hands-off approach adopted by Dresdner Bank of Germany in its takeover plans for Kleinwort Benson.

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