Nomura’s sudden decision to buy up every last little bit of Lehman in London is good news for everyone else who’s out of the market – and for Dresdner bankers in particular.
Headhunters say ex-Dresdner Kleinwort people, of whom around 1,200 are now or soon to be looking for gainful re-employment, fell suddenly out of favour when banks were faced with the choice of an ex-Lehman person instead. “I’ve seen four or five instances of Dresdner bankers being gazumped at the last minute by Lehman people,” says one search specialist. “They had jobs lined up at the likes of Barclays and HSBC and were suddenly dropped when the option of hiring a Lehman person came along.”
Although Dresdner has some good people from Kleinwort Benson in UK investment banking, the calibre of Lehman people is generally considered to be higher. Jason Kennedy, MD of search firm Kennedy Associates, says it’s a bit like comparing two identical cars, one of which has more horse power: “If they’re the same price, which one would you go for.”
It doesn’t help that Dresdner people often come across as more distressed than people out of Lehman. “Lehman boys seem to have an air of arrogance and confidence – they may have no head and no legs, but they still say their team’s the best and number one on the market,” says another headhunter.