Lauren's Feed
Jan 27, 2013

Wall Street executives fret about talent drain

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 27 (Reuters) – As the titans of Wall
Street banks gathered to network, gossip and consider the future
of their beleaguered industry in Davos over the past week, one
common worry emerged: who is going to take over when we leave?

Some of the most ambitious minds in finance are leaving the
industry after years of losses, scandals, bad press – and
perhaps most importantly new regulations that have curbed some
previously free-wheeling ways.

Jan 18, 2013

Morgan Stanley upbeat about future profits, performance

Jan 18 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley Chief Executive
James Gorman said the bank has turned itself around and can meet
its goals for profitability, his boldest pronouncements yet
about the near-term potential for a company that has long lagged
its peers.

The investment bank and wealth manager on Friday posted
fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ average estimate by
a wide margin, helped by a big jump in trading revenue and
stronger performance in its wealth management group.

Jan 18, 2013

Morgan Stanley profit lifted by trading, lower pay cost

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s quarterly earnings beat analysts’ expectations by a wide margin on Friday, helped by a big jump in trading revenue, and the bank said it was ready to deliver better returns to shareholders.

The Wall Street bank also said its wealth-management division delivered a 17 percent pretax profit margin, meeting an internal target months ahead of schedule.

Jan 17, 2013

Pay cuts may signal ‘new normal’ on Wall Street

BOSTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – In the past few days, major
global banks have taken the axe to pay with unusual zeal.

JPMorgan Chase & Co slashed the compensation of CEO
Jamie Dimon, one of the world’s top bankers, by half despite
record earnings in 2012. His crime? Being in charge when an
investment unit ran amok with the botched “London whale”
derivative trades that cost the bank more than $6.2 billion.

Jan 17, 2013

Goldman agonized over pay cuts as profits suffered

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Top executives at Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have been considering deep cuts to staffing levels and pay for at least two years, but feared too many layoffs would leave the firm unprepared for an eventual pickup in business, people familiar with the bank said.

They instead chipped away at staff levels and focused on non-personnel expenses that are less painful to cut.

Jan 16, 2013

Goldman boosts returns to shareholders through layoffs

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc paid a smaller portion of its revenue to employees in 2012 as it laid off staff, signaling that management at the top Wall Street bank may be ceding power to the shareholders who supply the capital.

The bank set aside just 37.9 percent of its 2012 revenue for compensation, the second-lowest proportion since Goldman went public in 1999. But pay per employee rose because revenue was up and layoffs reduced staffing levels.

Jan 15, 2013

Exclusive: Morgan Stanley to defer high-earners’ bonuses – sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is deferring the payout of all bonuses for the recently ended 2012 year for high-earning employees, three sources familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The deferral applies to all employees, except for financial advisers, who make more than $350,000 annually and whose bonuses are at least $50,000, one of the sources said.

Jan 15, 2013

Morgan Stanley to defer high-earners’ bonuses -sources

NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley is
deferring the payout of all bonuses for the recently ended 2012
year for high-earning employees, three sources familiar with the
situation said on Tuesday.

The deferral applies to all employees, except for financial
advisers, who make more than $350,000 annually and whose bonuses
are at least $50,000, one of the sources said.

Jan 14, 2013

When Goldman’s new CFO talks, insiders say they listen

By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Carrick Mollenkamp

(Reuters) – In 2004, Harvey Schwartz, who was then head of the financing business at Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s investment bank, came up with a new way for the bank to make money from a seemingly mundane activity: helping companies buy back their shares.

He created a product that could save companies money by getting them improved pricing on buybacks while generating fees and trading profits for the bank. To build what became a multibillion-dollar market, Schwartz had to convince dozens of skeptical Goldman sales people, derivatives traders, corporate finance specialists and lawyers that they could make buybacks more enticing, said Martin Chavez, a Goldman quantitative analyst who worked with Schwartz.

Jan 11, 2013

Big U.S. banks expected to post accounting charges, again

Jan 11 (Reuters) – As Wall Street banks begin reporting
earnings next week, analysts and investors are once again
prepared for big accounting charges related to changes in the
firms’ own credit spreads.

The charges stem from the improving corporate bond markets.
When bonds that banks have issued become more valuable, banks
take charges known as “debt valuation adjustments,” or DVAs, to
reflect the fact that buying back debt would be more expensive.
When their bonds weaken, banks can record gains.