The missing Link

The news that Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft’s former chairman Bob Link has quit the firm is unlikely to have too many people weeping in the street (see story).

Link was the man most closely associated with turning Cadwalader into a firm that looked more like an investment bank, at least when it came to remuneration, hiring and firing.

Layoffs, tumbling profits and its sharp-elbowed culture didn’t do much to endear Link to many of his colleagues. Ultimately, he was also the management figure who carried the can for most of the US firm’s woes.

Rightly or wrongly, his was the first name on the lips of the Cadwalader kickers, leading to his almost inevitable ousting from management two years ago.

Over the past few recession-flavoured years, there have been Cadwalader kickers a-plenty. In one way at least Link is now joining them – most are no longer with the firm.

These days Cadwalader is working hard on reversing its fortunes by broadening its client offering and trying to convince the market that it’s a kinder, gentler place. Good luck with that.

London head Angus Duncan insists there is more communication between the City and New York – frankly it would be hard for there to be less – and says that Link’s part-time presence in the capital was partly responsible.

Cadwalader will hope it’s not too little, too late. Link, now free to spend more time on the, er, links, is unlikely to care too much.