IFR announces its 2010 award winners

IFR Review of the Year 2010
4 min read

Deutsche Bank is the winner of IFR’s 2010 Bank of the Year. During a period marked by severe spikes in volatility, worries over the solvency of European sovereigns and rapid swings in investor appetite, the firm stood head and shoulders above its peers.

The firm has engineered a transformation from a prop trading-driven manufacturer and distributor of complex and illiquid risk to a client-driven flow and solutions house.

Despite an aggressive move to de-risk and de-lever (Deutsche’s balance sheet has been halved from its height) the firm has not suffered the hits to its profitability that might have been expected to follow. Indeed, the firm took the freed-up capital and invested it shrewdly in other areas.

As a result, Deutsche was one of the few banks who reported decent profits in the difficult third quarter of 2010 and made more money in the first nine months of the year than it did in the whole of a bumper 2009.

That investment also allowed the firm to build on its already strong client franchise and made enormous progress in key markets, especially in the US.

The bank was present on some of the year’s biggest deals including the US$22.1bn flotation of Agricultural Bank of China, the biggest ever. It led bond deals for Ireland, Greece and Spain, often during the most difficult parts of the year. In the US, Deutsche advised the US Treasury, Kraft and Ford Motor, with landmark M&A deals including Qwest’s US$23bn merger with CenturyLink.

“Coming out of the crisis with an intact platform makes you strong. That’s why we have broken into many strategic discussions with clients, or potential clients,” said Josef Ackermann, Deutsche’s chief executive. “Many, many market participants tell us: ’We admired what you did in the crisis and now we want to do business with you.’ So it has really changed the perception of the bank in important markets.”

In fixed income, the IFR editorial team chose Barclays Capital as its Bond House of the Year. The London-based bank built on last year’s integration of the Lehman Brothers business, consolidating its capability in a number of jurisdictions. Spearheading issuance for sovereigns during turbulent markets, it also took a pro-active approach, encouraging clients to issue at key moments.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is IFR’s Equity House of the Year. The firm’s prominence in the Asia-Pacific region – the world’s biggest market for equity issuance during 2010 – was unrivalled, and the bank won mandates on all the region’s biggest deals. Despite damage to its reputation, the bank managed to persuade some of the world’s biggest corporate to put their own livelihood into Goldman’s hands, often with highly successful results.

IFR’s Loan House of the Year is Bank of America Merrill Lynch for its aggressive and creative approach to business throughout 2010. The firm overhauled the way it did business in its home market following its merger, and then exported that model globally, winning new clients in the process. The combined bank is now a global powerhouse in the loans arena, following a year of up-tiering its relationship and lending ability with dozens of companies worldwide.

Lloyds Banking Group has been chosen as IFR’s Issuer of the Year. The lender has been a constant presence across asset classes during the year, and did some of the most innovative deals in the market. Through a series of issues – including its £13.5bn rights issue and subsequent bond issues – the UK bank rehabilitated its brand, bolstering its capital and putting shareholders at ease despite what were often turbulent and unwelcoming markets for financial institutions.

Subscribers can read all the awards write-ups here. Non-subscribers can find the full list of winners here.

Top awards

Bank of the Year Deutsche Bank

Bond House Barclays Capital

Equity House Goldman Sachs

Loan House Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Securitisation House JP Morgan

Derivatives House Deutsche Bank

Restructuring Adviser Rothschild

Emerging Markets Bond House HSBC

Issuer awards

Issuer of the Year Lloyds Banking Group

IFR’s sister publication, IFR Asia, has also announced its awards. The IFR Asia Bank of the Year is JP Morgan. Details of IFR Asia’s awards can be found here.

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