DrKW - Not Just Another Job Cull

It is tempting to lump the news that DrKW is to axe 270 staff in with the all other job loss woes at CSFB, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank. But to do so would be wrong.

The firm has confirmed that 90 jobs in London will go, in addition to 80 in Frankfurt, 50 in New York and 20 in Asia. The latest cull, which will account for roughly 4% of DrKW's global headcount, will be evenly split across capital markets and corporate finance and take in junior and senior staff working in back and front office areas.

But the difference with these job cuts at DrKW is that the firm, more in common with JP Morgan, is merely freeing up capital and refocusing its business activities in priority areas, like structured products, rates and derivatives. The firm continues to hire in these and other strategic areas. And DrKW's hand has not been forced by a disappointed parent or angry shareholders. Contrary to some reports in the media, it was the firm's own management who pushed through these changes as they are simply good for business. DrKW is one German firm not currently in trouble.

Finally, that old DrKW nemesis, Bruce Wasserstein, is in the news again. Having seemingly patched up his IPO deadline problems with Lazard chairman Michel David-Weill, Wasserstein is said to be busy axing investment bankers to shore up profits ahead of the float. According to The New York Post, the layoffs, which are said to have started last week, will mostly target VPs and Director level staff.

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