DrKW plots recruitment drive

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Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein is planning to hire as many as 300 staff as part of efforts to boost profits and turn around its fortunes.

The German investment bank, which is part of the Dresdner Bank group controlled by German insurer Allianz, employs around 6,000 staff, 2,100 of whom work in its capital markets division.

Steve Bellotti, who joined DrKW a year ago as head of capital markets and is one of the key lieutenants in chief executive Andrew Pisker's plan to revive the bank, said DrKW is hiring on several fronts.

One key driver is the bank's new strategy of growing its client-focused business. Bellotti said that the proportion of sales and trading staff in the capital markets team has grown from under 20% a year ago to around 25%. Bellotti, who said the bank was "light on sales and trading when I joined", wants that to grow to about 40%.

He added: "Foreign exchange is a big growth area. It is not balance-sheet intensive and enables us to diversify our business away from a reliance on fixed income. Emerging markets is also a focus of growth. We have a global reach and are strong in eastern Europe and Latin America, but we can grow in south-east Asia."

Bellotti said DrKW will add to its local currency emerging markets team.

Another target area for the bank is structured products, or derivatives. Bellotti said the bank already has a strong platform for such products, but is aiming to place a "bigger emphasis" on that side of the business.

DrKW, which has been plagued by questions over its future after underperforming in recent years, was hit by a collapse in profits in the second quarter of 2005. It reports its third-quarter figures on November 11.

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