Bill Harrison and Bob Diamond: BZW's new coaches play it rough
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Bill Harrison and Bob Diamond: BZW's new coaches play it rough

A new generation of managers has taken over at BZW following David Band's untimely death in March. New chief executive Bill Harrison is a tough, no-nonsense British merchant banker. In his first major interview Harrison explains his view of the bank's future, his player-coach approach and why BZW isn't Deutsche Morgan Grenfell. But, first, we profile the efforts of the other man on the touchline, the smooth American Bob Diamond, and his dramatic first three months as head of the firm's most turbulent division, fixed income. By Steven Irvine

Bill Harrison: A man in a hurry

Inside Ebbgate House, the sheer size of the deal had the champagne corks popping. One estimate has it that 100 bottles were drunk.

Bob Diamond, just two months into the job, could afford a smile. BZW's new head of global markets had scored a rare coup in winning the mandate to launch the UK's $2 billion floating-rate note. BZW's status as sole bookrunner, where it, and not joint-leads NatWest Markets or HSBC Markets, gains all the league-table credit, sent out a powerful message: BZW has emerged as the UK's best chance of having an investment bank in the big league.

Diamond's appointment further confirms this. A fresh-faced 44-year old, he is an archetypal product of Wall Street, his career divided between two of its most powerful firms, Morgan Stanley and CS First Boston ­ the sort of high-profile banker who had always seemed beyond the reach of BZW's recruiters. His nickname at CS First Boston ­ although he denies any knowledge of it ­ was "the Coach", and he looked set for the big job: that of CSFB boss Allen Wheat. Then, a messy revolt by bond traders in March forced his departure.

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