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October 1996

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  • Stockbroking is now concentrated in a very few hands. Fund managers are much more sophisticated, withdedicated dealing desks and in-house analysts. Andrew Capon looks at what's beengoing on behind the results of this year's ninth annualEuromoney/Global Investor European brokers poll
  • Britain's leading corporate banker needs a drastic solution to the problem of low margins. Rolling up 200 of the best loans and selling them as bonds is certainly that. But it has invoked a ferocious response from corporate treasurers and competitors. Brian Caplen reports on the controversy surrounding the deal
  • Finland's membership of the EU's exchange rate mechanism looks imminent and the country will be well placed to join monetary union. But Finnish banks, just coming out of recession, will need to cut costs and probably merge to keep their heads above water in the new, more competitive environment. John McGrath reports
  • 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 is not the most orthodox chief executive you will come across in the City. The new boss at BZW speaks with a strong Birmingham accent and refers to telephoning people as "giving them a bell".
  • Offsite and off the pointJean-Claude Komarovsky attends Black Knight's first offsite, and finds that generating ideas is a tough business
  • by David Roche
  • Degrees of complianceThe recent spate of scandals involving rogue traders has thrown the spotlight onto the compliance officer. By Christopher Stoakes
  • Why London will lose
  • The accounting standards still used by most Russian banks are a hangover from the old Soviet system, revealing little about their health and bandaging up their infirmities. International investors want international standards. Banks and regulators are responding but full reform will take years. Antony Currie reports
  • Emerging market Yankees; overnight swaps; Deutsche's rating tussle; Tobin put to bed. Edited by Peter Lee
  • That financial fraudsters will practise to deceive is a big worry as the World Wide Web and other Internet services proliferate. And when electronic cash is commonplace what will become of the traditional monetary system? Michelle Celarier reports on criminal bugs in a promising-looking system and the solutions proposed by regulators and law-enforcers
  • UK merchant bank Robert Fleming is in dire need of a good performance in 1996. It's unlikely to get one. With thousands of new employees hired in a bid to extend the global network, revenues have not grown fast enough to cover costs. Shareholders are restless. Charles Olivier reports
  • The first interest rate cut in five years has helped to boost the Chinese bond market, which is being reformed and currently enjoying a good run. But there are still problems. The market is relatively new and lacks experienced traders. More worryingly, the government closed down the futures market after Wanguo Securities crashed because of a bad speculation. Although China is keen to have foreign investors in the market, it says this won't happen until the reforms are completed ­ which it estimates will take several years. Sophie Röell reports
  • From lactation rooms to the high seas, with a lot of music in between.
  • Hillboot Strictly Private Banking, Moorgate, London EC2 (Representative offices in Grand Cayman, Lugano, St Petersburg, Vatican City)
  • Executive director and head of European bond credit research, UBS
  • Philippines Brady exchange: No expense spared by JP Morgan on Brady. Steven Irvine
  • Within the past year two of the most respected investment banking boutiques have been sold ­ Gleacher to NatWest and Wolfensohn to Bankers Trust. Do those deals mark the beginning of a trend and, if so, which targets are left? Stephen Neish talks to the main players
  • The international houses can no longer claim to have a monopoly ofinvestment banking in emerging markets. But if you do decide to go native, whichinstitutions can you trust? We asked those in the know who they like to deal withwhen a foreign bank just won't do. James Gordon-MacIntosh reports
  • Edited by Brian Caplen
  • Self-taught M&A expert Rakesh Saxena teed off a glittering career on Bangkok's exclusive Navatanee golf course. But he eventually helped drive Bangkok Bank of Commerce into the rough with a bunch of allegedly dubious deals. Five of Saxena's Thai associates are due to be tried for embezzlement and the Bank of Thailand is now trying to rescue BBC. Saxena made it away to Vancouver, where he awaits extradition proceedings. Meanwhile, he protests his innocence and hones his golf skills. Gill Maitland reports
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