High-Tech Team Quits Deutsche Bank

By John Schmid
International Herald Tribune

Frankfurt -- July, 15 1998 -- Deutsche Bank AG, still reeling from the defection of its three top Silicon Valley investment bankers, suffered an even more staggering blow on Tuesday with the mass exodus of virtually the entire high-technology investment banking team.

Credit Suisse First Boston, the investment banking unit of the rival Credit Suisse Group, announced that it had hired 132 staff from Deutsche Bank's Technology Group, which amounts to 95 percent of the whole Menlo Park, California, operation.

The latest hires had been expected following the announcement two weeks ago that Frank Quattrone, George Boutros and Bill Brady - the stars of the bank's prized technology team - left Deutsche Bank to join CSFB.

Because Deutsche Bank specifically targeted high technology as an vital sector to compete for investment banking deals, the brain drain has been ''painful'' to the German bank, in the words last weekend of Deutsche Bank chief executive Rolf Breuer.

''Since technology was one of linchpins of their expansion in the U.S. and internationally, it has to be regarded as a major setback,'' said Matthew Czepliewicz, banking industry analyst in London at Salomon Smith Barney.

The latest departures follow a spate of other resignations by top financiers this year that have thwarted Deutsche Bank's already stumbling efforts to break into the top leagues of firms that compete for juicy international deals.

''It was the highest profile defection, but only the most recent defection,'' said Mr. Czepliewicz.

At its headquarters in Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank confirmed the loss of staff but declined to comment.

On Friday, Mr. Breuer said: ''We must close this hole'' in the investment banking division.

The bank's self-acknowledged ''weaknesses'' have stoked long-lingering speculation that it might be among the next of the world's financial giants to announce a big-bang merger with a Wall Street investment house.

Copyright 1998