City Staff May Think Twice After Merrill Win

The news that Stephanie Villalba, the former senior Merrill Lynch executive, lost her discrimination case against the firm comes as no surprise. The evidence just did not seem to support her claims. And although Ms Villalba will lose a few bob as a result of her efforts to take Merrill to tribunal, she can probably afford it. The more important thing about this case, however, is that it sends out a very strong message to City staff thinking of making a claim against their firm - make sure that your case has strong foundations. Don't believe those ambulance chasers who will whisper in your ear that your employer will simply roll over and pay up or that a tribunal will bend over backwards to rule your way.

CSFB - Butt Off To Jail ?

A UK jury found former CSFB compliance officer Asif Butt guilty of insider trading just before Christmas. The gamekeeper turned poacher now faces up to seven years in jail.

2004 - A Catalyst For Change ?

It seems to have taken a year of contradictions for many firms to really start to get their acts together. We may well look back on 2004 and realise that it proved to be a catalyst for change which shaped the future of the industry.

National Australia Bank, UBS, Deutsche, Lazard

David Bullen, the former National Australia Bank trader at the centre of the recent $275m currency options scandal, has been charged by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority. Bullen says that he will face up to 20 charges and that he will defend himself, instead of using a lawyer. Four traders were dismissed from the bank after the affair surfaced in March.

Where Next City Outplacement ?

It is almost two years now since this writer predicted a radical shake-up in the City outplacement industry. Since that time, we have seen the sale (again) of BG Careers, the merging of Lee Hecht's UK operation with Penna, challenging times and new faces over at Fairplace and a major restructure at DBM. Penna also lost a CEO.

Out Of Africa

Unlike some financial journalists, this writer does not down Pimms in the sunset on the Med. No whimsical musings here from cool and trendy beaches, against a backdrop of idle Yachts at mooring and the idle rich at play.

Yet More Job Cuts Make For A Very Happy Xmas

Just when investment bankers thought that it was safe to enjoy Xmas and that there couldn't possibly be any more bad news about jobs before 'the season of goodwill', yet another bank has come out and confirmed cuts.

Top Firm Layoffs Said To Have Already Started

CSFB CEO Brady Dougan has said that staff wouldn't have long too wait long before they learned of their fate. And he seems to have been as good as his word, as stories are circulating that some job cuts have already been made.