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As Warburg Dillon Read scrambles to replace its defectors, the bank is just as busy contacting management at its recent IPO companies to reassure them that the firm is committed to providing research coverage and banking services going forward.

Word on the Street is that Warburg health care banking head Ben Lorello will make an announcement in the coming week or two about replacements for banker Eric Roberts, sellside analyst Rachel Leheny and six other members of Warburg's health care team who joined Lehman Brothers earlier this month(see BioCentury, April 10).

Those joining Lehman on the corporate finance side include Russell Pollack, now senior vice president at Lehman, and Caroline Carey, who joins as vice president. Victoria Ross and Benjamin Selzer both join the Lehman banking team as analysts. Joining Leheny on the equity research side are Joseph Dougherty, whose coverage included QLT PhotoTherapeutics (TSE:QLT; QLTI), Gilead (GILD) and Trimeris (TRMS); and Michael Wood, whose coverage included Idec (IDPH), Medarex (MEDX) and Protein Design Labs(PDLI).

The scuttlebutt is that Geoff Harris, Warburg's medical-tech and health care services analyst, will pick up coverage of Warburg's recent genomics deals.

Meanwhile, management at most of the newly minted Warburg IPOs said they believe the firm will find quality replacements. "Ben called our CFO Tim Lynch and myself to reassure us that they're moving aggressively to replace the people who left," said Scott Harkonen, president and CEO of

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