HQ and Carnegie merger could lead to jobs merry-go-round

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Stockholm-based Carnegie Investment Bank has pledged that the jobs of all 300 employees of HQ Bank are safe following its swoop this week on the ailing Swedish financial services operation - but there's still likely to be a period of uncertainty within both organisations.

Carnegie bought HQ Bank and HQ Fonder, its trading business, on Monday for SEK268m after it was put into liquidation by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.

The FSA revoked HQ's banking licence for breaching financial regulations, including having a lack of oversight in its trading operation and arguing that the bank had taken such large risks it had endangered its own survival.

Despite the reassurances from Carnegie, the merger of the two businesses could inevitably lead to people leaving or moving around both businesses, as well as create new roles and opportunities, argue recruiters.

"It is a merger so it is very much going to be a question of integrating HQ's employees into Carnegie," says Wictor Bonde, consultant at recruitment firm Michael Page's banking and financial services division in Stockholm.

"As with any merger, some people may leave because they do not like the change for one reason or another. Overall I believe that Carnegie has built a good foundation in order to keep people, for example solving HQ's issue with the convertibles.

"However, some positions will now become doubled up or hard to integrate in the joint organisation, most likely in areas such as back office, middle office or maybe at some senior levels. This does not per se mean that people have to leave, many of them are likely to be offered other positions," he adds.

Whether or not people decide to stay, having HQ on a resumé is still likely to be seen as positive, Bonde stresses.

"Most of the staff are very attractive on the market. Some departments at HQ have a great reputation. I know for a fact many have been approached with job offers more times in the last two weeks than during most of their careers."

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