Top awards 2006
OUT ON ITS OWN - In the intensely competitive investment banking industry, one firm has a hold over its peers like no other. Rivals are as entranced by its iconic image as they are bewildered by its ability to make money. A benchmark for excellence and achievement, the firm stood out even more in 2006 as a trend-setter that is redefining how the business is conducted. Goldman Sachs is IFR’s Bank of the Year for 2006.
REDISCOVERING THE FOCUS - Few houses can boast a franchise that truly encompasses the whole gamut of asset classes and jurisdictions. A number have tried, but few have succeeded. The one example to which they aspire is that of Citigroup with its global reach and business expertise. Citigroup is IFR’s Bond House of the Year.
SUPREME LEADER - Rarely has one firm dominated global ECM market share as Goldman Sachs did in 2006. The bank has been the leading bookrunner in all regions for almost the entire period under review, and has been at the forefront of most industry trends, particularly in its US business. For its supreme presence in all areas, Goldman Sachs is IFR’s Equity House of the Year and US Equity House of the Year.
SMART MONEY - M&A financing and structured lending came to the fore in 2006 and for the first time in a few years banks needed to be smart to prosper rather than just lending cheap money. For its unmatched geographical presence and for its leadership in structured and acquisition lending, Citigroup is IFR’s Loan House of the Year and Asia-Pacific Loan House of the Year.
TOP OF THE CLASS - As the securitisation universe continues to expand, so do the demands on lead managers. A top ABS bank has to show competence across asset classes, an ability to generate its own product, supply liquidity and a talent to rethink the product. Lehman Brothers has done all that, and as a model that other houses are chasing to copy, not least in the non-conforming sector, is the IFR Securitisation House of the Year.
SPANNING THE ASSET CLASSES - The exponential growth in derivatives showed no sign of slackening in 2006, with low rates, spreads and volatility only increasing demand for tailored investment and liability solutions. For market leadership in every asset class and an unparalleled structuring ability, Deutsche Bank is IFR’s Derivatives House of the Year.
LOAN, BOND OR BANANA - Global leverage finance has come of age and the market has come so far from when an LBO financing comprised a loan, a bond and slug of equity. 2006 was all about what banks could do in the subordinated debt space between the senior debt and the equity. For its innovative use of the capital structure and creative solutions to complex problems, Goldman Sachs is IFR’s inaugural Leveraged Finance House of the Year and European Leveraged Finance House of the Year.
SURF'S UP - When banks unveil novel products their deals are typically either quietly copied by rivals, or derided for technical drawbacks. The constant proportion debt obligation (CPDO) developed by ABN AMRO was unique in prompting a firestorm of criticism, followed by a rush to duplicate its structure. For delivering a shot of adrenalin to the credit markets, the CPDO is IFR’s Innovation of the Year.
Structured Finance awards
High Yield awards
Emerging Markets awards
Structured Equity awards
IFR awards Foreword
The past 12 months in international capital markets have been the most benign – certainly the least turbulent – in years, and it still seems too early to call time on the general market ebullience.