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Dec 20, 2012

IntercontinentalExchange takes aim at CME with NYSE talks

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – IntercontinentalExchange is in talks to buy New York Stock Exchange owner NYSE Euronext, in a multi-billion dollar deal designed to push it into the big league of European derivatives and take on arch rival CME Group.

ICE (ICE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may consider a spin-off or sale of NYSE’s stock markets, a source told Reuters. As well as the 200-year old New York exchange, the NYSE also owns bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon.

Dec 20, 2012

IntercontinentalExchange in talks to buy NYSE – source

Dec 19 (Reuters) – IntercontinentalExchange Inc is
in talks to buy NYSE Euronext, the operator of the New
York Stock Exchange, according to a source familiar with the
situation on Wednesday, in a multibillion dollar deal that could
help the commodities exchange take on arch rival CME Group Inc
.

A deal could be announced as early as Thursday, the source
said, declining to be named because the discussions are private.

Dec 20, 2012

NYSE, IntercontinentalExchange in merger talks: WSJ

By Lauren Tara LaCapra and John McCrank

(Reuters) – IntercontinentalExchange Inc is in talks to buy NYSE Euronext, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, according to a source familiar with the situation on Wednesday, in a multibillion dollar deal that could help the commodities exchange take on arch rival CME Group Inc.

A deal could be announced as early as Thursday, the source said, declining to be named because the discussions are private.

Dec 14, 2012

Morgan Stanley promotes senior bankers in U.S. and Europe

Dec 14 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley has promoted
several senior bankers to positions overseeing mergers and
acquisitions in the U.S. and Europe, following a shakeup at the
top level of that division last month.

Bob Eatroff and Jim Head were named co-heads of M&A in the
Americas, while Colm Donlon and Johannes Groeller were named to
the same positions in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Dec 12, 2012

Berkshire buyback seen clashing with estate tax push

Dec 12 (Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s $1.2 billion share
buyback from a single unnamed investor likely helped that
person’s estate save substantially on taxes, just one day after
the Berkshire Hathaway CEO said the rich should actually be
paying more, not less, when they die.

With the “fiscal cliff” looming and estate taxes set to rise
dramatically in less than three weeks, the timing was seen as
advantageous – and, according to Berkshire watchers, also out of
place in the context of Buffett’s recent tax activism.

Dec 12, 2012

Berkshire buys $1.2 billion in stock from single investor

By Ben Berkowitz and Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc bought back $1.2 billion in stock from the estate of an unnamed investor, the company said on Wednesday, one day after Buffett advocated for a higher estate tax when the wealthy die.

Berkshire also raised the threshold for future share buybacks to 120 percent of book value from 110 percent – the level it chose when it first approved a repurchase program in September 2011.

Dec 7, 2012

Morgan Stanley shifts broker bonuses to reward growth

Dec 6 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s wealth division,
in a change to how it rewards its increasingly important
brokerage force, is cutting bonuses tied to the revenue that
advisers generate, but also offering discounted stock and new
incentives to brokers if they bring in new assets and get their
clients to borrow money.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management announced the 2013
compensation plan Thursday afternoon to its 17,000 brokers.

Dec 6, 2012

Morgan Stanley’s 2013 adviser pay to reward new loans

Dec 6 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley will shift the way
advisers in its wealth management business are paid next year,
cutting bonuses tied to the amount of revenue they bring in and
rewarding them instead for growing assets and loans.

Advisers, who learned of the new plan Thursday afternoon,
will also be able to buy discounted Morgan Stanley shares for
the first time, according to details of the plan reviewed by
Reuters.

Dec 4, 2012

As Morgan Stanley drops “Smith Barney,” some wonder about the brand

At the Goldman Sachs investor conference on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley wealth management executive Greg Fleming ran through his 31 slides like a financially savvy drill┬ásergeant, with a full discussion of margins, lending, technology, “value propositions” and “illustrative solutions.”

But in the Q&A session, he was asked an unusually thoughtful question by an audience member: What about the brand, and the culture, of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management?

Dec 4, 2012

Morgan Stanley’s Fleming says lending is key to boosting margin

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – The main reason Morgan Stanley’s (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) wealth management profits lag competitors is because the firm does not have as big of a lending business, Greg Fleming, the head of Morgan Stanley’s wealth division said at an investor conference on Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley is focused on offering mortgages, tailored loans, securities-based lending and other lines of credit to high net worth clients to catch up to rivals, Fleming said.