Top Firm Denies CEO Looking At UBS Chairman Job

Reuters reports that Deutsche Bank has come out and denied German media reports that CEO Josef Ackermann would consider moving back to Switzerland to take on the Chairman's role over at UBS. A bank spokesperson noted that Ackermann was under contract until 2010, and stated that he 'was not considering giving up his post'.

Bloomberg reports that Lehman Brothers Holdings has asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sell its French investment banking unit to Nomura for just 1 euro ($1.30).

The Wall Street Journal reports speculation that AIG may be looking at some $10bn in losses as a result of 'speculative trades that have soured'. A firm spokesperson said that the trades were not, in fact speculative, but were instead 'credit protection instruments'.

M&A is also likely to remain in the doldrums next year. Bloomberg reports that the smart money says that 2009 is likely to be the slowest year for deals since 2005, although analysts at Societe Generale are predicting that the number of deals might actually fall as low as 4,000 - in other words, back to 1995 levels.

And Reuters reports that Jeremy Isaacs, ex-head of Lehman's European businesses, is starting his own investment firm, JRJ Investments, with Roger Nagioff, who previously headed Lehman's fixed income unit.

Finally, The Wall Street Journal reports that Mark Fetting is to take on the chairman role in addition to his CEO mantle over at Legg Mason. Current chairman (and founder) Raymond 'Chip' Mason is to step down from the board, but will remain as an adviser to the firm.

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