Here's the latest post from our very own (and very popular) 'Highly Placed Professional'.
The Financial Times reports that Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann is said to have been approached about the possibility of taking the reins over at Citi, but confirmed that he was not available. The difficulty of filling the top job at Citi mirrors the problems the FA is having finding someone for the also vacant England football team manager position - a well paid job, working for a decent brand, which no-one wants because you're on a hiding-to-nothing (now Merrill CEO John Thain is also thought to have spurned Citi's advances, as is US Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman CEO) Hank Paulson).
Reuters reports that a former financial analyst at Morgan Stanley and her husband, who worked in an ING hedge fund unit, both got banged up for 18 months Tuesday, for insider-trading.
Thomson Financial reports that, according to a recent article in Dutch daily newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, bankers at ABN AMRO are worried that they may not get paid out some $1.11bn in 'loyalty' bonuses that apparently form part of a retention package agreed awhile back. The bankers are said to want the bonuses, which become due 3 years after the scheme was put in place, paid out as soon as possible given that most are moving to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) following the recent ABN takeover led by the Scottish firm.
The Financial Times reports that five hedge fund managers at London-based Marble Bar Asset Management are to pick up at least $400m after agreeing to sell up their firm to Swiss bank EFG International.
Over 3,000 staff voted in our Martin Ward Anderson-sponsored 2007 Bonus Anticipation Poll. Here are the headline results (individual firm figures are at the foot of the article):
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'.
Since it was revealed earlier this week that an unnamed investment banker had had the balls to call up Citi and suggest that it might consider a 'merger' with Bank of America, thoughts have turned to what might end up being the biggest bank merger of all time - a tie-up between Citi and JPMorgan Chase!
The NatWest Three were back in the headlines this week, after pleading guilty to an Enron-related crime in exchange for a lenient sentence. A dodgy extradition was followed by 17 months in the US away from their families and the prospect of up to 35 years in clink if they were convicted as charged - little wonder they coughed. Anyway, here's our 'Highly Placed Profesional's' take on the affair.