JOBS: The Fresno Raiders

Late one Friday afternoon in November 1975, executives at the Los Angeles headquarters of Bateman Eichler, Hill Richards Inc., California's largest brokerage firm, got a series of disturbing phone calls. All 25 employees in the firm's Fresno office—17 account representatives, two trainees, six back-office assistants—announced that they were quitting, with no advance warning. Most distressing to Bateman Eichler was the employees' destination. They moved en masse across Shaw Avenue to open, on Monday morning, the brand-new Fresno office of Bateman Eichler's competitor, Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis.

Even by the standards of the securities industry, whose firms constantly raid each other...

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