Banker leaves local void

Shattuck watched over Alex. Brown, its employees

September 14, 2001|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Mayo A. Shattuck III's departure as a top executive at Deutsche Bank AG may not make a ripple in the giant German financial company, but it will likely be felt in Baltimore.

Shattuck, 46, who announced his resignation this week as chairman of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, has been a strong voice for Alex. Brown and its employees.

After Alex. Brown was sold to Bankers Trust Corp. in 1997, he fought to protect jobs while coaxing employees to adapt to the new culture.

Two years later, he fought to retain the Alex. Brown name when Deutsche Bank officials wanted to kill it. Now, the name could disappear before the year is out.

"He clearly was the major bearer of a lot of the legacy values that existed from the Alex. Brown firm," said David M. DiPietro, head of North American equities at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. "Like any good leader or manager, he passed those on to a lot of us."

Aside from overseeing local operations, Shattuck was also chief executive of Deutsche Bank's Private Clients and Asset Management Group for the Americas and global head of Deutsche Bank's private banking division.

He also sat on the boards of both groups, which met in Frankfurt, Germany, where the company is headquartered.

Shattuck will continue as a senior adviser and a director of Deutsche Bank and as a director of its U.S. bank holding company.

"A legitimate question: `Will there be anyone to replace Mayo in the upper echelons of Deutsche Bank who can speak for the Alex. Brown interests?'" said A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, Alex. Brown's former chairman and chief executive.

While Shattuck's influence may be missed in Baltimore, executives said the 1,200 employees here are represented by senior people who have been with Alex. Brown for decades.

Ben Griswold, senior chairman of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and a descendent of the company's founder, "is still in town, I'm still in town," said Thomas Schweizer Jr., head of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown's brokerage operations.

"Mayo is certainly a very important person ... but he has decided to retire. We have to move on," said Schweizer, who has been with the company for 33 years.

Said Griswold: "The place is plowing ahead here. This is a very big organization now, this is not a 10-man partnership and if you lose one person it is really very, very serious. The important thing at this point is to look forward."

Schweizer said Alex. Brown will continue to grow, especially in its brokerage operation. In addition, 85 employees from Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown's operations in New York are expected to move here temporarily Monday in the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy, officials said. The number of transferred workers could go as high as 250.

Indeed, no single person can have that big an impact on Deutsche Bank, experts said. The company has about $911 billion in assets, 97,000 employees and operations in more than 70 countries.

Will his resignation be felt within the huge structure?

"Not unless he has got secrets," said Norrie Morrison, an analyst in New York at Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder. "Not in the global market place, I'm afraid."

Shattuck joined Alex. Brown in 1985 as co-head of its corporate finance division. Working from the company's office in San Francisco, he ran its Technology Group when it arranged public offerings for such companies as Microsoft Corp., America Online Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Oracle Corp.

Shattuck became president and chief operating officer of Alex. Brown in 1991, when the Baltimore investment firm was worth about $150 million. Six years later he helped negotiate the company's sale to Bankers Trust Corp. for $1.7 billion. Two years after that, Bankers Trust was sold to Deutsche Bank for $10.6 billion.

Alex. Brown's fortunes have slipped recently, along with the financial markets. Its brokerage business posted a loss for the first half of 2001, its first in a decade, prompting Deutsche Bank's chairman to hint that it might be sold, a claim he later softened.

Morrison said he wasn't surprised that Shattuck resigned in the wake of the recent problems.

"Deutsche made it very, very clear that they were unhappy with the performance of the retail business," he said. "It may just be that they felt some sort of head had to roll."

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