Why didn't they fly in Breuer?
Why did NatWest refuse Deutsche Morgan Grenfell's offer of £150 million ($248 million) for the equity operations of NatWest Markets?
According to insiders at NatWest Markets, Deutsche's negotiating team, led by head of equities Mike Philipp (who initially came to Deutsche as global head of sales in fixed income), were so confident of their ability to secure the deal that they refused to get Rolf Breuer (speaker of Deutsche Bank) involved, and gave almost no indication of how the two banks' operations would work together in future.
"All they kept saying was: 'We're Deutsche, and we'll be the top investment bank in five years' time'," says one NatWest equities banker.
"All they had to do was wheel in Breuer once to calm some nerves here, and they might have clinched the deal."
Little changed when more bidders came on the scene, with Deutsche Morgan Grenfell still, apparently, concentrating on where they would be a few years down the road.
"Bankers Trust were totally the opposite," says the banker. "They explained their business, why they'd bought Wolfensohn (the M&A boutique) and Alex. Brown, and how we'd fit in with their plans. No wonder we chose them."