Investment Banking Unit NOT For Sale

Dresdner Kleinwort CEO Stefan Jentzsch has come out and confirmed that German insurer Allianz has no plans to sell his unit, following comments recently made by Allianz that it was reviewing its business model. Jentzsch also told German newspaper Handelsblatt in an interview earlier this week that 'I don't think radical restructuring of the bank is appropriate'.

Sounding rather bullish, Jentzsch said that, were it not for the current market turbulence, 'we would be on the point of steering the bank in the right direction'.

Jentzsch's comments will dampen down speculation that Allianz will relent to pressure from some of its shareholders who think that the investment bank is a drag on the company's share price, and too risky a business to be in. As at the end of its third-quarter, the unit had suffered losses and write-downs from the turmoil in the financial markets to the tune of some $849m. Executives also suggested that further write-downs cannot be ruled out in the fourth-quarter.

Jentzsch, however, is looking foward to 2008, and is confident that his unit will continue to attract talent into key areas as it beefs up strategic businesses. He said that 'our business with mid-sized companies for example has not been affected at all (by the recent market difficulties), and may fare even better over the next year'.

Dresdner Kleinwort staff will be heartened by their leader's comments, although the firm is currently undergoing a review of headcount, which will result in 60 - 80 front office staff globally losing their jobs, mainly in areas affected by the recent market turmoil. The Handelsblatt article also makes clear that Allianz will support Dresdner Kleinwort's bonus pool, as it wishes to retain key performers.

READER COMMENT:

'Were it not for the current market turbulence, Dredner Kleinwort's competitors would be making truck-loads of money and staff in those firms would be taking home seriously large bonuses!'.

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