Holding it together Executive: Mayo A. Shattuck III spends much of his time these days trying to meld the cultures of Alex. Brown and Bankers Trust.

November 28, 1998|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Mayo A. Shattuck III has gone from big deal clincher to diplomat -- walking that high wire trying to protect the heritage of Alex. Brown Inc. while at the same time persuading people in Baltimore that they have to change.

It is a big transition for Shattuck, 44, who started with Alex. Brown 13 years ago and almost overnight became one of its hottest investment banking stars. His time was spent mainly on the road trying to win business, working up to 100 hours a week, helping land big-name technology companies, such as Sun Microsystems Inc., Oracle Systems Corp. and Novell Inc.

For his work, Shattuck was elevated to president and chief operating officer of the company in 1991, running the day-to-day operations and overseeing more than 2,400 employees.

A merger later, Shattuck finds himself one of five vice chairmen of Bankers Trust Corp. and is co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of BT Alex. Brown.

He is still called in to close the big deal now and then, but Shattuck spends much of his time trying to meld the cultures of Alex. Brown and Bankers Trust since their merger 14 months ago.

"He has been our voice at Bankers Trust; he has demonstrated leadership all of the time," said Richard C. Mike Lewin, a managing director of BT Alex. Brown, who will become Maryland's secretary of business and economic development Monday.

'A terrific job'

"I think he has been doing a terrific job holding this firm together in a difficult time."

When Bankers Trust announced that it had lost $350 million in Russian securities and had to cough up $300 million to help bail out a failing hedge fund in September, Shattuck advised the company's chairman, Frank N. Newman, to meet with angry troops in Baltimore to calm them down.

Newman followed the advice, and the meeting has helped improve the mood.

When Bankers Trust angered institutional salesmen at Alex. Brown by insisting on changing the way they were paid, it was Shattuck who persuaded the parent company to back off.

He has also fought for Alex. Brown employees who he felt were better qualified for certain jobs than Bankers Trust personnel were.

"He has been very strong about about what's right to preserve what we got here," said an Alex. Brown executive who didn't want to be identified.

"If he thought we had the best people, he would go up there and get it done. It wasn't just because they were ours; it was because they were the best. He is not a shrinking violet."

Shattuck isn't wrapped in the Alex. Brown flag. He believes in the merger and supports many of the policies and goals of Bankers Trust. And he isn't afraid to tell Alex. Brown employees that they must change.

Shattuck has backed the parent company's decisions to change the ways expenses are handled, taking free Wall Street Journals and requiring that new contributions to the 401(k) retirement plan be invested in Bankers Trust mutual funds.

'Difficult messages'

"When I think it is right, I often have to take a difficult messages back to the Alex. Brown people. I wouldn't do it if I didn't think it was merited."

Executives and employees from both companies listen to Shattuck because he is respected among the top people at Bankers Trust.

He and Yves de Balmann, the other BT Alex Brown co-chairman/co-CEO, run the global investment banking operation, which has 4,000 employees and revenue of $3 billion a year.

Shattuck spends two days in New York and two in Baltimore and one day a week travels to meet clients or put the finishing touches on a deal.

"He is a guy who has a tremendous following," said Alexander Mason, co-head of corporate finance for BT Alex. Brown and a 20-year veteran of Bankers Trust. "He has quickly engendered a following within the Bankers Trust side of the family."

'Best of both'

Mason said Shattuck has worked to "create an enterprise that is the best of both" Alex. Brown and Bankers Trust.

Shattuck was an ardent supporter of the Alex. Brown/Bankers Trust merger. Now, he is backing the sale of Bankers Trust to Germany's Deutsche Bank AG. The companies said they will vote Sunday on a $9 billion transaction that would form the largest banking company in the world.

"This is very exciting for us," said Shattuck, who talked with The Sun by phone while traveling by train from New York to Baltimore.

"This is going to be a much more stable platform, a much bigger capital base, and present us with another step forward to become a leading player in investment banking in the world."

Shattuck said that because many of the businesses that Deutsche Bank wants are based here, Alex. Brown and Baltimore might come out ahead as part of a huge company that has more than 76,000 employees and is based in Frankfurt, Germany.

"The number of bodies we have in Baltimore are going to grow," he said.

"The people of Alex. Brown and Baltimore will continue to be a vital part of our model. The Baltimore base is the core of a number of our businesses."

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