Management: A Clash of Corporate Styles

Can an independent financier whose family has been in banking since the Ottoman Empire find happiness working for American Express? The answer seems to be no. In 1983, American Express bought Edmond J. Safra's Trade Development Bank for $520 million in cash and securities. Lebanese-born Safra is one of the world's most respected moneymen. He built a banking empire by giving meticulous attention to the accounts of wealthy Middle Easterners. What better way for American Express's bank to hit world-class status than to hire a world-class banker? Safra was offered the company's...

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