Thompson to take over Deutsche's global deals

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Financial Editor

Maurice Thompson is to take over the running of corporate finance at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, plugging a gap left by senior defections to Merrill Lynch late last year. The 38-year-old was the first star poaching by DMG from Warburg at the beginning of last year, setting off an avalanche of over 50 executive departures to the German-owned merchant bank.

Mr Thompson will be in charge of a newly created investment banking division, the final stage of the reorganisation of Deutsche Bank and Morgan Grenfell's investment banking operations along global, integrated lines.

The reorganisation was given added urgency by the departure in November of Guy Dawson and Justin Dowley, the number one and two in corporate finance, for Merrill. Long-standing Morgan Grenfell employees, they left for the US investment bank in the wake of its purchase of the broker Smith New Court, and its stated strategy of expansion to become the leading investment bank in the UK and Europe.

Deutsche Morgan Grenfell made its mark last year as the most aggressive of the City banks in its efforts to expand virtually all aspects of its investment banking activities. Deutsche Bank's decision in late 1994 to centre its global investment banking in London around Morgan Grenfell quickly reaped the benefits of the haemorrhaging of staff from its rival Warburg. In all, DMG took on about 75 new executives last year, as Deutsche pursues its ambition of becoming a leading global investment banking power by the end of the decade.

Maurice Thompson has been in charge of equity capital markets, along with his former Warburg colleague, Michael Cohrs, who was poached at the same time. Equity capital markets, which focuses on bringing new issues to the market, is the keystone in the arch linking corporate finance and the equity divisions. Mr Cohrs is to continue heading up equity capital markets.

The new investment banking division will regroup all the classic corporate finance activities such as mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets, adding to it responsibility for relationship management with clients for all the investment bank's products. "The investment banking division will be responsible for presenting one face to our corporate clients through dedicated coverage. We will also be strengthening industry group expertise as a priority," said Michael Dobson, chief executive.

Mr Thompson originally made his name at Warburg for his handling of BT2 and BT3. Last year was a bumper year for corporate finance, and investment banks expect the takeover and merger activity to continue apace.