Dresdner bankers not so bad after all

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Surprise news - several headhunters suggest some of Dresdner Kleinwort's bankers are actually quite high calibre. Many of them may even be employable elsewhere. This is handy as Commerzbank's apparently planning to dump 1,000 of them. Then again, headhunters may be lying.

According to The Times, prop traders and equities staff are top of the list for the chop at Dresdner Kleinwort. Finextra is predicting IT and back-office staff will be extracted en masse. London structured credit teams will be eliminated entirely. Simon Maughan, banking analyst at MF Global, says leveraged loan professionals and UK cash equities and corporate finance staff are also likely to go.

Members of Dresdner's equities team, some of whom were hired last year, must be feeling pretty peeved. But Jonathan Evans at equities search firm Sammons Associates says quite a few of them are eminently employable elsewhere.

The same, apparently, goes for other DK staff at risk. Bruce Lock at search firm Kinsey Allen says Dresdner's leveraged finance operation involves a "small but good quality team", which might be able to benefit from current "selective hiring".

Dresdner's UK corporate finance team, which has worked on 10 deals so far this year, according to Dealogic (down from 15 in the same period last year), is also said to have something going for it. "Some of those people have been around since Kleinwort Benson days and could move to Hawkpoint, Rothschild or Close Brothers," says one headhunter.

Alert to the fact that some of its staff might be wanted elsewhere, Allianz is already said to have guaranteed bonuses at 75% of last year's level.

At least one Dresdner banker remains loyal to the end "There's still a bonus pool to look forward to, and that's what I'm focused on at the moment," he insists.

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