Bankers Trust Corp. chairman and chief executive Frank Newman said that he is confident the "vast majority" of the bank's key employees will stay after it is bought by Deutsche Bank AG.

The banks said they expect to cut jobs to make the merger profitable, slashing 5,500 positions, or 5.7% of their combined staffs. But they are also working to hold onto key employees to ease the integration of the two companies.

Among other enticements, Bankers Trust will pay some executives part of their 1999 bonuses halfway through the year to keep them from quitting now. "A few hundred people will have retention packages to give them a financial incentive in addition to the psychological incentive," Mr. Newman said Tuesday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Mr. Newman said a"significant portion" of the bonuses for many Bankers Trust employees last year was paid in stock. He said the stock would automatically vest as of the time of the Deutsche Bank merger, "so it's an extra incentive for people to contribute to the success of the merger itself."

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