<b>Deutsche's ruling tribe</b>
|Headline: Deutsche's ruling tribe
Date: April 2000
Never underestimate the tribal powers that rule investment banks. The stand-off between Deutsche Bank's global markets division and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson - when both sides were threatened with painful integration - is a case in point. Edson Mitchell, Deutsche's head of global markets, was hailed by his chairman Rolf Breuer last year as an Indian chief. By clever use of animal magnetism and the bonus pool, he inspires a fierce loyalty among his warriors. So fierce that he felt able to set the terms of the threatened integration with DKB. Where there's overlap, forget the adage "blending the best". Tribalism rules. And if you belong to the wrong tribe, you don't come on board unless you have a very special talent, and can subordinate your own tribal ties.
Ultimately, that intransigence was blamed for scuppering the entire merger between Deutsche and Dresdner Bank: a deal that had been trumpeted as creating a European financial services powerhouse and marking the end for Germany AG. The merger was Germany's best shot at having a national, indeed a European, banking champion, one whose power would have been enhanced by close co-operation with Germany's insurance giant, Allianz.