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A cut-throat business


The culture of corporate bonding has taken hold in the UK. Off-sites, golf tournaments, tank-driving weekends, group hugs - they're all about learning to love your co-workers, and in doing so make your office a more harmonious, and profitable, place.

So perhaps Commerzbank Securities should be applauded for trying something different. On a suitably dank and foggy evening in late November, a group of staff from the London office assembled in darkest Whitechapel for a Ripper Walk. A Ripper Walk is a guided tour of the East End, visiting the sites where legendary serial killer Jack the Ripper brutally dispatched his victims, bringing terror to Victorian London and inadvertently creating a thriving, if grizzly, addition to the capital's tourist industry.

Quite what message, if any, this is meant to send to the bankers isn't clear. Are they meant to arrive at work the next morning ready to murder the competition? Or perhaps they can learn from Jack's example and ruthlessly slash expenses?

This was the sixth Ripper Walk organized for the bank's employees, according to Neil Brazil, who is about to leave the bank's corporate communications team in London to work for a PR agency in Japan.