SBC-Warburg transformed in six weeks

Pushing ahead at break-neck speed, Swiss Bank Corporation has virtually completed its integration of Warburg within six weeks of the launch of the new investment banking operation. It is still on course for cuts of about 1,000 jobs globally, most of which have already fallen in the City.

But the number of losses at Warburg is far higher, with several hundred quitting for other banks. Despite the pounds 60m loyalty bonus fund set up to bind in key staff, a series of senior-level departures continues to expose the inevitable tensions in the shock-treatment integration strategy adopted by Marcel Ospel, the new chief executive of SBC Warburg.

Despite a good flow of new business - SBC is advising Fisons in its defence against Rhone-Poulenc, the French chemicals giant - morale according to insiders remains fragile, and the strains of trying to bolt together the very different cultures of SBC and Warburg are beginning to tell. "We are all wondering whether you can do the old business in a new way," says one senior Warburg corporate financier. "The Warburg organisation was inflated and needed the sort of pruning now going on. But how much of the culture in a place renowned for its internal culture is also being thrown out?"

Inside the favoured sandwich bars near SBC Warburg's Finsbury Avenue headquarters, newly integrated teams still divide instinctively along them-and-us lines.

"SBC people think we are stuck-up. And frankly, many of us find they sail very close to the wind. The style here is changing quite dramatically," says another Warburger of some years' standing.

This has been an unusually active summer for personnel coming and going. The source for much of it has been Warburgs. James Capel, the broking house owned by HSBC, which in better times would scarcely have warranted a glance from Warburg executives, has been buried in an avalanche of CVs. But the biggest pull has been Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, which has pillaged Warburg's top ranks to spearhead its own international equities force.

In the process, Warburg has lost the heart of its European equities team to Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, which has taken about 60 people in all.

In an ironic re-run of City history, it is the second time this European equity team, comprising David Haysey and Joe Hall among its principals, has deserted an approaching SBC. At Big Bang, this team had sought refuge at Warburg when its firm, Savory Milln was bought up by SBC.

The very close relationships between equity capital markets, sales and research, covering the four top defectors now at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell - Maurice Thompson, Michael Cohrs, David Haysey and Miko Giedroyc - continue to exert a powerful pull on SBC Warburg people. One of the latest losses was the Golob brothers, Warburg's top telecoms team.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower