Co-head of equity capital markets for Europe, Africa and Middle East, Merrill Lynch
In 1988 Matthias Mosler, then a rising star in the investment banking division of Deutsche Bank, was chosen to become personal assistant to Alfred Herrhausen, the charismatic chief executive of Deutsche Bank and president of Daimler-Benz. Herrhausen was also a politician, and was seen as the most powerful person in Germany. Helping to run the great man's office and to act as a sounding board for his ideas for changing Deutsche Bank seemed a golden opportunity for the young Mosler.
One morning in 1989 Mosler was waiting for Herrhausen in the offices of Deutsche Bank when a bodyguard phoned to say that his boss's car had been blown up, and he had died. The device was the work of the Red Army Faction.
Given this shock, Mosler's career might well have faltered, but it has continued to prosper. Last year he took Goldman Sachs to the top of the league in German equities and he now has a new challenge as co-head of equity capital markets for Europe, Africa and the Middle East at Merrill Lynch.