The silver lining to Commerzbank’s Dresdner Kleinwort purchase, which will eradicate the Dresdner brand and terminate 9,000 employees: the firings won’t happen until after Christmas. (Happy New Year!)
Unfortunately, it’s not compassion that’s inspired Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing to delay the axe: Commerzbank won’t officially take control of Dresdner until January.
Blessing addressed the Dresdner troops earlier this week:
Here is the City: Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing marched into the Lion’s Den Wednesday, rocking up at Dresdner Kleinwort’s London HQ building in Gresham Street to address his new troops. And he is said to have impressive his audience (staff in other locations were able to watch via video conferencing) with his easy-going, straight-forward manner.
And Blessing started the meeting by stating that ‘investment banking is important to Commerzbank’ (although wags were quick to point out that this won’t stop him firing as many as 2,500 of Dresdner’s 5,500 investment bankers globally). Blessing also confirmed, however, that there would be no lay-offs before Christmas.
One Dresdner Kleinwort banker told Here Is The City that ‘at least Blessing did the decent thing and came to talk to us. He promised that he would be open and transparent about the selection process for redundancies. This stuff about no layoffs before Christmas is hogwash, though. We all know what’s coming, and we all know that Commerzbank won’t be able to fire anyone until they take control in the New Year anyway. It’s small consolation if we get a stay of execution until next year. Many of us already know that our days here are numbered. Some of us are now wondering if the new boss’s performance Wednesday was merely a ‘Blessing in disguise!’.
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