Dominic's Feed
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?

Photo

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.

Apr 30, 2013
via Breakingviews

New UBS is starting to work

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By Dominic Elliott

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

The new-look UBS  is starting to deliver. The first full quarter of the strategy announced on Oct. 29 has broadly answered the Swiss bank’s critics. UBS shone in trading and capital markets financing, returning to its traditional strength in equities. Investment bank stability helped wealth management business too.

Apr 24, 2013
via Breakingviews

European banks turn tables on Wall Street

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By Dominic Elliott

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

Two of Europe’s biggest investment banking firms have defied fears they would fall behind Wall Street peers in the first quarter. Credit Suisse and Barclays succeeded in maintaining revenue in investment banking year-on-year, against an average drop of 7 percent among U.S. peers. Costs fell too. Given their recent history, the decision by both banks to maintain sizeable investment banking operations is controversial. But the numbers provide some justification.

Apr 23, 2013
via Breakingviews

Barnier broadside leaves EU looking soft on banks

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By Dominic Elliott

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

The European Union’s top financial regulator seems out of touch on banking reform. His peers want banks to keep more capital, but Michel Barnier says the United States should give European banks a break.

Apr 19, 2013

Breakingviews- Toyota-isation of banking brings reputational risk

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

By Dominic Elliott

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Forget fancy
financial models derived from quantum physics. The solution to
low returns in banking may lie in the car industry of 30 years
ago, in a Toyota-style production-line revolution replacing
people with machines.

    • 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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