Commerzbank loses fourth senior banker

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Mark Eban, global head of capital markets at Commerzbank Securities, has become the latest senior banker to leave after a wave of departures over the past four months.

Mehmet Dalman, head of investment banking, told staff of Eban's departure in an internal memo. He said: "Eban has been with Commerzbank almost from its inception. He has performed a number of key roles and been instrumental in the development of our business. I shall indeed miss him."

Dalman said the bank would announce plans for a new head of capital markets shortly.

Eban joined Commerzbank in 1998 from Credit Suisse First Boston to develop its capital markets business from scratch. He was former head of syndicate at BZW before its acquisition by CSFB.

Eban's departure follows those of Philip Wale, head of equity trading, who left in August; James Kinglake, who left his post as head of equity sales in May; and Richard Greer, who helped to establish the equities business alongside Dalman, and who left in July.

Their departures have prompted speculation about the future of Commerzbank's securities and investment banking division and Dalman's plans for his own future.

Dalman has said that he will return to the hedge fund business when he leaves the German bank. He is understood to think that there is no future for an investment banking business at Commerzbank. It is believed that he might try to reach an agreement under which he would leave, with the bank backing his move into hedge funds.

On Monday, Financial News revealed that Commerzbank scores worse than its European competitors in profitability in 7 out of ten product categories, according to a confidential report compiled by Mercer Oliver Wyman, the consulting firm. It found that the bank suffered from a cost/income ratio of 87%, which is 17% more than its closest rivals.