Joseph's Feed
Dec 5, 2011

Bearish views on brokers may not be bearish enough

NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Investors pessimistic about the
prospects of U.S. banks and brokers have some good company:
Wall Street chief executives.

And yet the bosses’ grim outlook is not yet fully reflected
in analysts’ expectations for money managers and securities
firms. That means beaten-down bank stocks are likely in for
more punishment.

Nov 30, 2011

Stifel plans no layoffs, sees market rebound soon

Nov 30 (Reuters) – Even as the market downturn prompts
thousands of layoffs on Wall Street, Stifel Financial
intends to hold on to its bankers and analysts in hopes the
company will gain market share when markets finally recover.

The largest U.S. and European banks in recent months have
announced nearly 100,000 layoffs, citing sluggish deal
activity, falling market prices, low interest rates, tougher
capital rules and dizzying market volatility.

Nov 30, 2011

Smart money places bets on wealth managers

By Joseph A. Giannone

(Reuters) – Private equity investors have set their sights on investment advisory firms, betting they will take off when markets recover and more investors seek unconflicted advice.

Heavyweights such as the Carlyle Group and TPG Partners stepped up purchases this year of registered investment advisers, a corner of the wealth management business swelling with customers fleeing traditional brokerages.

Nov 29, 2011

BofA says small investors have grown more cautious

NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Middle-class investors, burned
by the financial crisis and worn down by recession, have grown
even more conservative and risk-averse in the past year,
according to a Bank of America survey.

About four out of 10 “mass affluent” Americans — those
with $50,000 to $250,000 to invest — told the bank they are
more conservative than they were a year ago. These investors
are putting more of their investment and retirement accounts
into cash or fixed-income investments.

Nov 21, 2011

Merrill Edge adds advisers, clients and assets

Nov 21 (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp said it has
has hired scores of advisers and increased assets and accounts
at Merrill Edge, an online and branch-based brokerage targeting
the middle class.

Merrill Edge on Monday said it now has 1,200 advisers, less
than 18 months since its June 2010 launch, after adding 155
“financial solutions advisers” in a Jacksonville, Florida, call
center plus 65 in retail bank branches. The program also added
60 branch-based advisers in 20 Texas cities.

Nov 21, 2011

Merrill Edge hires 280 advisers in Florida, Texas

Nov 21 (Reuters) – Merrill Edge, Bank of America’s
online and branch-based brokerage targeting the middle class,
on Monday said it now has 1,200 advisers, just 18 months after
it launched the program.

The bank added 155 “financial solutions advisers” in a
Jacksonville, Florida, call center plus 65 in retail bank
branches, bringing its total across the state to more than
350.

Nov 17, 2011

UBS’s U.S. brokers to boost loans, bank referrals

NEW YORK, Nov 17 (Reuters) – UBS Wealth Management
Americas, which in the past two years began retaining advisers
and attracting clients, is now focused on helping brokers sell
more mortgages and make introductions to colleagues in the UBS
investment bank.

The U.S. brokerage unit, under Chief Executive Robert
McCann, has revived a business that had been bleeding assets
and losing droves of brokers to rivals. The next challenge,
McCann told investors, was to further boost productivity by
moving beyond stocks and bonds to offering credit and offering
a fuller range of financial advice.

Nov 17, 2011

UBS slashes investment bank, cuts profit targets

NEW YORK, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Swiss bank UBS
said it would resume dividend payments as it slashes risky
assets in its scandal-hit investment bank by almost half in a
shift of focus back to the core business of managing the assets
of the world’s wealthy.

At an annual investor event, UBS cut its return-on-equity
target to 12-17 percent from 2013 from the 15-20 percent that it
had already abandoned in July in the face of tough new capital
rules and turbulent markets in recent months.

Nov 16, 2011

Nittany Lions on Wall Street still licking wounds

NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) – The Penn State sex abuse
scandal has prompted soul searching by many of its alumni on
Wall Street — but perhaps nowhere greater than at Merrill
Lynch, where hundreds of Nittany Lions roam among the
Thundering Herd.

The shock waves from one of the nation’s largest
universities reached Wall Street when the school revealed a
former football coach was accused of sexually abusing eight
boys over a 15-year period.

Nov 11, 2011

Bessemer goes on defense, on pace for best year

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Portfolio managers at Bessemer Trust, financial adviser to ultra-wealthy U.S. families, took an extremely defensive posture a few weeks ago amid some of the most volatile financial markets in more than 80 years.

A sluggish U.S. recovery, an expanding debt crisis in Europe and political deadlock are just some of the factors contributing to wild ups and downs in stock prices. As markets convulse with growing frequency, often for no apparent reason, many small investors are heading to the sidelines.