Morning Coffee: As Deutsche and Barclays struggle, Bob Diamond is back and hiring
Following a lengthy restructuring process, Barclays is still under a great deal of pressure – as is the bank’s chief executive, Jes Staley. Meanwhile, the man who once held Staley’s post, controversial former CEO Bob Diamond, is quietly thriving.
Barclays’ struggling investment banking division hasn’t reversed course as quickly as many had hoped, despite an aggressive growth strategy championed by Staley. The slow progress led activist investor Edward Bramson last week to call on Barclays to take a knife to the investment bank, stripping it of virtually all trading functions. Now, Barclays is said to be mulling a merger with fellow British bank Standard Chartered as a potential attempt to thwart Bramson’s demands. While the details of the rumor are murky, what’s clear is that Staley has his hands full.
Diamond, who resigned amid the Libor controversy in 2012, appears to be enjoying more success while tangentially dipping his toes back into investment banking. London stockbroker Panmure Gordon, owned by Diamond’s Atlas Merchant Capital, is building an advisory and equity capital markets business, according to Financial News. The firm plans to double its headcount in London in the “medium term” after bringing on an M&A head back in January. Future hires will include managing director-level bankers as well as juniors.
While Diamond doesn’t personally run Panmure Gordon, his fingerprints were likely all over the move. At the time of the takeover, Panmure’s then-CEO Patric Johnson said the firm would not become "Barclays 2.0. It is not Bob Diamond coming back in and saying he is going to be chief executive.” Just one month later, Diamond’s firm replaced Johnson with a familiar face: former Barclays executive Ian Axe, who hinted at expanding the investment bank at the time of his hire. No matter how direct Dimon’s role, the former investment banker has to be smiling just a bit.
Elsewhere, Deutsche Bank just got kicked when it was already down. Literally hours after announcing plans to cut at least 7,000 jobs globally, Deutsche Bank acknowledged a Bloomberg report that it mistakenly transferred nearly $25 billion to Macquarie back in 2014 due to a human error. The blunder wouldn’t be as newsworthy if Deutsche Bank didn’t do something similar in March of this year, when it transferred 28 billion euros to its own Eurex account when it meant to transfer 28 billion yen. That’s a difference of $32.7 billion. When it rains, it pours.
Former Goldman Sachs CEO and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine isn’t exactly crushing it with his new hedge fund. He’s raised just around $20 million so far. (Fox Business)
President Trump has signed a bill that will roll back some Dodd-Frank mandates that put restrictions on smaller community banks with less than $250 billion in assets. The bigger news may be that the bill won’t offer any exemptions for bulge-bracket banks. (Reuters)
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney believes the mechanisms are now in place to remove and punish “rolling bad apples” within banking. Carney is in the camp that believes individual bankers should face similar punishments aimed at banks. (Bloomberg)
Merrill Lynch brokers are reportedly up-in-arms over a new compensation program that punishes advisors who don’t meet certain cross-selling targets. Some claim the plan is being implemented retroactively, equating to a clawback. (WSJ)
Credit Suisse has poached UBS veteran Ryan Nelson to take over its newly-created role of global head of prime financing. (HFM)
Part of Deutsche Bank’s cuts include a team of 10 emerging markets bankers in London. (FN)
Six senior women at J.P. Morgan wrote a letter to Stacey Cunningham to congratulate her on becoming the first female president of the New York Stock Exchange. (Business Insider)
Regulators are investigating whether traders are manipulating the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. (Bloomberg)
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