MANAGEMENT: I Say, Old Boy, Are You There?

I Say, Old Boy, Are You There?

There are days when it does not pay to show up for work. But sometimes it pays plenty. When Purcell, Graham, a blue-chip London brokerage house, opened for business last Monday, about half its 120 brokers were absent. By day's end it seemed that many had skipped to a nearby rival, Cantor Fitzergald, which is rumored to have offered to double the defectors' salaries.

Such a raid would once have been unprecedented for London's staid financial district. But since last fall's deregulation of Britain's financial institutions, foreign banks -- previously barred from operating brokerages -- have been fighting madly over a...

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