Dominic's Feed
Jul 16, 2013

Breakingviews-Bankers’ pay numbers could stoke London envy

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Dominic Elliott

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Pay numbers
released by the European Banking Authority on July 15 will do
nothing to boost the City of London’s popularity in the rest of
Europe. The UK was home to 84 percent of the pool of happy EU
investment bankers who earned over 1 million euros in 2011, up
from 79 percent the year before. The imbalance underscores
London’s financial dominance in the region.

Jul 15, 2013
via Breakingviews

Banks dodge a bullet with transatlantic swap deal

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By Dominic Elliott and George Hay

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

A deal between American and European regulators on derivatives has helped banks dodge a bullet. Before a compromise hatched on July 11, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) intended to force swaps involving United States’ counterparties to be cleared in America. That would have frozen cross-border flows and hammered volumes by creating separate regulatory jurisdictions.

Jun 19, 2013
via Breakingviews

UK banking report pulls more punches than it lands

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The long-awaited parliamentary report on UK banks is underwhelming. In part, that’s a reflection of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards’ fuzzy remit and limited powers. Set up last July in the wake of Barclays’ Libor shame by Chancellor George Osborne to address perceived ethical failings in the industry, the commission’s biggest hits come when it addresses that original purpose.

Jun 18, 2013

BREAKINGVIEWS: Bank leverage spat shows the limits of simplicity

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own)

By Dominic Elliott and Peter Thal Larsen

LONDON/HONG KONG, June 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The
mantra “simple is better” has intuitive appeal in bank
regulation. That’s why a growing band of academics and
supervisors are pushing to adopt leverage as the primary measure
of bank risk. But the figure is not as straightforward as it
sounds. Recent sparring between Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and a
top American financial watchdog illustrates why.

Jun 7, 2013

Breakingviews-Finance professionals look askance at neighbours

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Dominic Elliott

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Three quarters of
UK finance workers reckon some of their ilk are overpaid, a
survey says. That may sound like self-flagellation, but the
YouGov pollsters didn’t ask the relevant question for that:
whether the respondents considered their own rewards excessive,
relative to their peers or to workers in other industries.
Really, it’s the one quarter who did not see a problem with pay
that should make headlines. Do they think everything is OK, or
are they lacking in the sector’s famed competitiveness?

Jun 6, 2013

Kleinwort Benson owner should shake up board

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Dominic Elliott

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Shareholders should
vote for change at Kleinwort Benson owner RHJ International
(RHJI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research). A group of hedge funds have launched a credible
attack on the company. RHJ hasn’t delivered a convincing
rebuttal. The activist group, led by Equilibria Capital
Management, have tabled six resolutions to the company’s annual
meeting on June 18. Four of those proposals merit support.

Jun 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

Could UBS resurrect partnership investment banking?

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Goldman Sachs’s initial public offering in 1999 seemed to hammer a nail in the coffin for the partnership model in investment banking. Now activist investment firm Knight Vinke is suggesting that UBS might adopt something like a partnership structure as part of its plan to split wealth management from investment banking. The breakup idea is overambitious today. Only with time, luck and possibly more capital, could an employee-owned UBS investment bank be made to work.

Jun 4, 2013

Breakingviews:Could UBS resurrect partnership investment banking?

(Corrects spelling in paragraph 9)

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Dominic Elliott

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Goldman Sachs’s
(GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) initial public offering in 1999 seemed to hammer a nail
in the coffin for the partnership model in investment banking.
Now activist investment firm Knight Vinke is suggesting that UBS
(UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) might adopt something like a partnership structure as
part of its plan to split wealth management from investment
banking. The breakup idea is overambitious today. Only with
time, luck and possibly more capital, could an employee-owned
UBS investment bank be made to work.

May 20, 2013
via Breakingviews

FirstGroup cash call shows deleveraging imperative

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

It’s shaping up to be the year of the rights issue in Europe. FirstGroup’s 615 million pound ($1 billion) cash call suggests companies are biting the bullet and exploiting the rise in equity markets to repair their balance sheets. The jumbo issue from the UK rail and bus operator comes after similar fundraisings from the likes of Commerzbank, Dutch cable company KPN and travel operator Thomas Cook. Other distressed companies should look to delever while they can.

May 17, 2013

Widened EU bonus cap looks more like a net

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Dominic Elliott

LONDON, May 17 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Widening the
European Union bonus cap to include almost all the region’s
bankers could end up throttling a recovery. A new proposal from
the European Banking Authority (EBA) suggests changing the
definition of “material risk taker” to include any banker whose
total remuneration comes to more than 500,000 euros. Before, the
definition looked likely to rely on the interpretation of
national regulators.

    • About Dominic

      "Dominic is a London-based columnist covering investment banking. Prior to Breakingviews, he spent two years at moneydealer ICAP, where he brokered equity derivatives trades between investment banks, high-frequency trading firms and hedge funds. He has more than five years of financial journalism experience, including stints as news editor and investment banking editor at Financial News. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal Europe. Dominic holds an MA in Classics from Oxford University and an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics. Follow Dominic on Twitter @DominicElliott"
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