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Friday, 19 January 2018

Keith Mullin' s stories

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  • Bank mergers not a 2018 story

    People & Markets | 12 January 2018

    EUROPEAN BANK MERGER mania seems to have caught the imagination and looks set to be a driving theme for 2018. There’s only one problem: it’s caught the imagination of policymakers and the media rather than the banks.

  • Preparing the decks for 2018

    People & Markets | 15 December 2017

    IF THE PENDULUM for most major investment banks has broadly swung away from rehab towards investing in growth, not all banks have felt the need to reboot senior management ranks to reflect this significant shift in opportunity and mindset.

  • Japan: a year of positive alignments

    Japan: a year of positive alignments

    All Special Reports | 15 December 2017

    Growth is (relatively) strong, markets are up as a result and capital markets activity is buoyant. The return of Tepco to the bond markets and the funding dynamism of Softbank were among factors that gave bankers in Japan and those who focus on the market from abroad a certain swagger.

  • Banks pivot to growth

    Banks pivot to growth

    All Special Reports | 15 December 2017

    A reformed and reshaped global banking industry is investing for growth again. But with decent profits still elusive for some, and a host of headwinds to battle against, it’s too early to declare that happy days are here again.

  • The FCA, IPOs and how to achieve the square root of zero

    People & Markets | 17 November 2017

    WHEN I SAW the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent package of IPO measures, which it said were designed to ensure the UK’s primary capital markets remained effective – a crucial end-game in a Brexit context – I kept thinking I must have missed something.

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    The FCA, IPOs and how to achieve the square root of zero

    Ticker | 15 November 2017

    When I saw the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent package of IPO measures, which it said were designed to ensure the UK’s primary capital markets remained effective – a crucial end-game in a Brexit context – I kept thinking I must have missed something.

  • keith mullin

    Just when you think it’s safe…

    People & Markets | 06 October 2017

    IT’S HARD TO argue that the banking industry hasn’t made significant progress since the financial crisis, having undergone and in many cases still working through processes to right-size, re-balance and re-tool. Considering the severe headcount and expense reductions and business-line filleting that have underpinned efforts to increase returns on equity, it’s been painful.

  • Banks crawl through fog of resolution

    Resolution fog

    All Special Reports | 20 September 2017

    A strong regulatory sense of purpose and direction of travel around capital, liquidity and, more specifically, bank resolution has run headlong at a macro level into a potentially toxic triumph of politics over policy and at a micro level into puzzlement around how point of non-viability is determined and what processes ensue.

  • Keith Mullin

    Passive investment will kill IPOs

    People & Markets | 08 September 2017

    INVESTMENT BANKERS LOVE IPOs more than most. These days that’s largely because of the high fees such deals attract, rather than the kudos that comes with being a go-to adviser and underwriter (those bragging rights have been slipping away as the act of going public has lost its lustre as the highest-form corporate end-state).

  • keith mullin

    Follow the money

    People & Markets | 04 August 2017

    THE NARRATIVE EMERGING in Europe around banks’ second-quarter earnings is that the restructuring cycle is reaching an end-point and giving way to a more wholesome focus on business growth. Sounds good, but is that realistic?

  • Venetian farce throws consistency to the wind

    People & Markets | 30 June 2017

    THE EUROPEAN UNION is doing itself no favours. It’s not just that its rationales and applied methodologies for dealing with vulnerable and fragile banks seem inconsistent and rather opaque.

  • Keith Mullin

    What sank Popular? Supervisory negligence

    Ticker | 16 June 2017

    Keith Mullin assesses the aftermath of Spanish lender Banco Popular’s collapse

  • Keith Mullin 475px June 2014

    Strategy and the vagaries of markets

    People & Markets | 27 January 2017

    THERE WAS A lot of chatter on the back of UBS’s fourth-quarter and full-year results around whether the strategy adopted by Sergio Ermotti, to scale back fixed-income and push wealth management to the fore with a smaller equities-led investment bank, has wrong-footed the group vis-à-vis its ability to take full advantage of market conditions that prevailed in the fourth quarter as well as potential evolving market conditions.

  • Keith Mullin

    Banking story turning the corner: stay long

    People & Markets | 20 January 2017

    MAJOR BANK STOCKS have been on a tear since the US election result, up on average around 25% – a whole lot more in many cases. It’s not just US banks but international players too. It’s probably safe to say equity prices have been caught by a wave of investor over-exuberance and the acceleration will settle down over time. But the appreciation does raise some vital questions.

  • keith mullin

    Grumpy bankers least of Cryan’s woes

    Ticker | 19 January 2017

    Not that anyone should be surprised, but didn’t John Cryan have a demeanour of a weary man with a lot of troubles on his shoulders in his interview on CNBC?

  • Keith Mullin

    Are asset managers becoming systemically dangerous?

    People & Markets | 13 January 2017

    SHOULD WE BE worried about the latent power of the US$76.7trn held in the asset management sector – 40% of global financial system assets – to wreak havoc on the world and unleash an unforeseen buyside catastrophe?

  • Is derivatives clearing the biggest Brexit issue?

    Ticker | 12 January 2017

    It was the Xavier Rolet show Tuesday as the polished and articulate chief executive of London Stock Exchange Group turned on the charm and transformed the UK Treasury select committee hearing on the UK’s future economic relationship with the European Union – a very broad macro subject – into a detailed and decidedly micro discussion about derivatives clearing.

  • Rok Perko of Slovenia crashes during the men's Alpine Skiing World Cup

    BMPS bailout enrages Slovenia’s dispossessed

    Top News | 06 January 2017

    The recently announced bailout of Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena retail Tier 2 bondholders and the limited bail-in of institutional Tier 1 holders has thrown to the fore a bitter dispute around the wipe-out of shareholders and subordinated bondholders in six Slovenian banks that were rescued by the state in 2013 and 2014.

  • Keith Mullin 475px June 2014

    Anshu Jain: the Bono of investment banking

    People & Markets | 06 January 2017

    “THE GREATEST MANAGER of any sales and trading organisation in the world … like Bono joining your rock band” was how Cantor Fitzgerald Chairman and CEO Howard Lutnick gushingly described his close friend Anshu Jain joining his racy broker-cum-investment bank as president.

  • keith mullin

    The Bono of investment banking

    Ticker | 04 January 2017

    “The greatest manager of any sales and trading organisation in the world … like Bono joining your rock band.”

  • Keith Mullin

    ​What’s the point of bail-in if bail-out prevails?

    Ticker | 29 December 2016

    Once again, via the awkward situation at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, we’ve been deprived of the chance to see how bail-in instruments might work in an unencumbered free-market manner, says IFR Editor-at-large Keith Mullin. 

  • Keith Mullin

    When techies rule the IB world

    People & Markets | 16 December 2016

    I WAS RIGHT on cue three weeks ago when, at the time Michael Sherwood announced his departure, I said that something was afoot at Goldman Sachs. While I had no specific knowledge Gary Cohn would be heading into public service as head of the National Economic Council in the Trump presidency, I did foresee that he might not be long for the Goldman world. “Can you ever get tired of being next in line to run Goldman Sachs?” I pointedly asked. I guess you can.

  • Regulatory rollback: Phase One

    Regulatory rollback: Phase One

    All Special Reports | 16 December 2016

    Politicians, bank regulators, supervisors and central bankers the world over have spent close to 10 years trying to eradicate the root causes of the 2007–08 global financial crisis. Bank leaders have spent the same period trying to modify and mould the structures and profiles of their institutions to meet the requirements and obligations of what has become a veritable regulatory onslaught.

  • Bank of the Year: Citigroup

    Bank of the Year: Citigroup

    All Special Reports | 16 December 2016

    Banking and capital markets certainly didn’t lack drama in 2016 as the industry battled a complex and volatile operating environment, while individual firms pushed forward with strategic recalibrations and strove to improve returns. There may not have been any dazzling epiphanies, but one firm resolutely continued its steady progress and made impressive strides. Citigroup is IFR’s Bank of the Year.

  • keith mullin

    Who doesn’t like a man with IB wallet?

    Ticker | 14 December 2016

    UBS and Morgan Stanley must love Jean Pierre Mustier. As the UniCredit CEO sets about the task of sorting out the bank with impressive and lightning-fast urgency, they’ve been in the driving seat of a lot of investment banking business the bank has paid wallet on in recent months.

  • Keith Mullin 475px June 2014

    Fortune-telling has never been more difficult

    People & Markets | 09 December 2016

    REWIND A YEAR or so: in October 2015, Credit Suisse reinforced its ambition to be a wealth manager with good IB back-up and a balanced geographical approach between developed and emerging markets. This, it believed, would generate significant value for shareholders over time.

  • Keith Mullin 475px June 2014

    Are banks in denial over direct lending?

    People & Markets | 02 December 2016

    I’VE BEEN WATCHING with interest the emergence of direct lending funds in Europe over the past couple of years and I’ve been moved to pose a question.

  • keith mullin

    Are banks in denial over direct lending?

    Ticker | 01 December 2016

    I’ve been watching with interest the emergence of direct lending funds in Europe over the past couple of years and I’ve been moved to pose a question. 

  • Keith Mullin 475px June 2014

    Opco non-preferred senior: the new black

    People & Markets | 25 November 2016

    THEY SAY IT’S all about timing. And it definitely was for IFR’s 17th annual bank capital conference, which I chaired last week in London. It was a fabulous affair: not even standing room in our packed auditorium for the morning sessions and a crowd watching proceedings from the live relay screen outside. At one point, our security team told us they wouldn’t let anyone else in because of health and safety concerns.

  • keith mullin

    Woody calls time – and this time it’s probably for real

    Ticker | 22 November 2016

    Something is afoot at Goldman Sachs. That much is obvious. You just get a distinct sense the succession race that has been one of the most captivating talking points around the market for years, and a constant of Wall Street dinner parties the world over, is accelerating.

  • keith mullin

    Don’t hold your breath on European bank consolidation

    Ticker | 21 November 2016

    Were Societe Generale boss Frédéric Oudéa and his UniCredit counterpart Jean-Pierre Mustier taking Mario Draghi at his word about Europe being overbanked and talking turkey on a merger that had a lot of people going in the past few days?

  • Don’t hold your breath on European bank consolidation

    People & Markets | 18 November 2016

    WERE SOCIETE GENERALE boss Frédéric Oudéa and his UniCredit counterpart Jean-Pierre Mustier taking Mario Draghi at his word about Europe being overbanked and talking turkey on a merger that had a lot of people going in the past few days?

  • keith mullin

    BoC preps London capital markets push

    Ticker | 16 November 2016

    Bank of China’s three-year Green structured covered bond, which celebrated its listing last Friday in a ceremony at the London Stock Exchange, was certainly eye-catching. 

  • keith mullin

    Will Trump come through for US banks?

    People & Markets | 11 November 2016

    Editor-at-large Keith Mullin takes stock of the third-quarter performance of US and European banks

  • Keith Mullin

    Next up: Green syndicated loans

    People & Markets | 04 November 2016

    I THOUGHT I’D revisit the topic of green finance as a few related strands have crossed my desk and I’m sure my hordes of “green” fans are missing me.

  • keith mullin

    Next up: Green syndicated loans?

    Ticker | 03 November 2016

    I thought I’d revisit the topic of green finance as a few related strands have crossed my desk and I’m sure my hordes of ‘green’ fans are missing me. 

  • Dealers trade on the floor of the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange

    Big Bang at 30: what goes around comes around

    Ticker | 26 October 2016

    The 30th anniversary of Big Bang has come at an opportune moment.

  • Keith Mullin 475px June 2014

    FICC rides to the rescue

    People & Markets | 21 October 2016

    FIXED-INCOME TRADING, the bête noire of investment banking for so long, bailed out what might have been an otherwise so-so third-quarter performance for the Big Five US firms as clients regained some sangfroid and showed more willingness to trade. Now, how often have you heard that?

  • keith mullin

    Commerzbank champions Robo-CIB

    People & Markets | 14 October 2016

    DO I SENSE some early excitement around hoped-for future happenings at Commerzbank in the wake of the recently-unveiled restructuring? OK, on the basis that that no-one can be happy about the pain of heavy job cuts, excitement may not be le mot juste.

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    Dispatches from Washington

    Ticker | 12 October 2016

    IFR editor-at-large Keith Mullin reports from the US on regulatory rumblings and capital markets musings.

  • keith mullin

    ECB taper and bank investability

    People & Markets | 07 October 2016

    EARLY CHATTER ABOUT the chilling subject that has been hanging over the European bond market for months caught a few people off-guard this past week. Even though there’s not frankly a whole lot new to say, I think reactions to the chatter were so telling that passing comment now is too difficult to pass up. I’m talking, of course, about the dreaded ECB taper.

  • Keith Mullin

    ECB taper talk and a walk down memory lane

    Ticker | 05 October 2016

    I didn’t want to pass over early chatter about the chilling subject that has been hanging over the European bond market for months: the dreaded ECB taper. 

  • keith mullin

    Deutsche Bank; not a 2008 moment. Yet

    Ticker | 30 September 2016

    THE INCREASINGLY PANICKED and fast-moving state of affairs at Deutsche Bank is eerily reminiscent of that calamitous fourth quarter of 2008. But to be sure, it isn’t the same. Even though the situation in the past week has felt a little disorderly at times, calling a Lehman moment would, I think, be foolhardy. As would suggesting the world financial system is about to fall into the abyss as it did in the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse, taking the world economy with it.

  • Keith Mullin

    Forget bail-in: this is the real world

    Ticker | 27 September 2016

    Is anyone in any real doubt that Deutsche Bank would be bailed out by the German government? Seriously, I mean really? 

  • keith mullin

    A TLAC approach to Green bonds

    People & Markets | 16 September 2016

    THE GREEN BOND inner-circle are a testy lot. Some of the negative reactions to the supportive piece I wrote about the market back in May were, let’s just say, rather indecorous and I was harassed and hounded. Bemusing, since I’d merely postulated the idea that if voluntary standards weren’t tightened, definitions should be prescribed by regulatory diktat to give the market the robust underpinning it needs in order to scale. I stand by my position.

  • keith mullin

    A TLAC approach to Green bonds

    Ticker | 14 September 2016

    THE GREEN BOND inner-circle are a testy lot. Some of the negative reactions to the supportive piece I wrote about the market back in May were, let’s just say, rather indecorous and I was harassed and hounded. Bemusing since I’d merely postulated the idea that if voluntary standards weren’t tightened, definitions should be prescribed by regulatory diktat to give the market the robust underpinning it needs in order to scale. I stand by my position.

  • keith mullin

    ​Transfer window wide open

    People & Markets | 09 September 2016

    SENIOR EXECUTIVE HIRING at the world’s leading global and regional investment banks strikes me as similar to the transfer process at leading football clubs with one striking exception: the days when star investment bankers could earn anything like soccer’s finest are long gone.

  • Keith Mullin

    Who, me? Really? Chin gets the nod at CS

    Ticker | 07 September 2016

    Investment banking is a funny old game. Especially for Credit Suisse’s Brian Chin. Just think about it: you’re happily buzzing along as head of securitised products, a long-standing marquee product at the bank. 

  • Keith Mullin

    Throsby gets big leg-up at new-look Barclays

    Ticker | 06 September 2016

    IFR was bang on the money back in April, reporting that Barclays would likely not replace outgoing investment banking chief Tom King like-for-like. So it transpires, as Tim Throsby will double as president of Barclays Corporate & International (BC&I) and CEO of the Corporate and Investment Bank.

  • MOVES-Madill joins Bank of China on bond syndicate desk

    Ticker | 05 September 2016

    Kenneth Madill has joined Bank of China in London as manager of its newly formed bond syndicate desk.

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