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Jul 6, 2014

When CEO has cancer, board must plan for more than succession

NEW YORK, July 6 (Reuters) – When Goldman Sachs’ then-senior
partner, Gus Levy, suffered a stroke in the middle of a client
meeting in 1976 and died shortly after, the bank’s management
didn’t know who would lead the firm. No one, it seemed, had
planned for succession.

What happened next is not entirely clear. As Roy Smith, a
former Goldman partner, tells the story, Levy had left a
note in the top drawer of his desk in the office. It said if
anything were to happen to him, the management committee should
name John Whitehead and John Weinberg as co-senior partners, and
so Goldman did that, Smith said.

Jul 3, 2014

Ex-Merrill CEO says he has ‘no knowledge’ of Google search wipe

NEW YORK, July 3 (Reuters) – E. Stanley O’Neal, the former
chief executive of Merrill Lynch, said on Thursday he has “no
knowledge” of an apparent effort to remove a BBC article
mentioning him from Google Inc search results in

The previous day, BBC economics editor Robert Peston
suggested O’Neal may have asked the search engine to exclude a
2007 blog post that mentioned him from its results under a
European privacy rule.

Jul 1, 2014

Morgan Stanley eyes compensation cuts for financial advisers: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) wants to pay out a smaller portion of wealth management revenue to the retail brokers who generate it, the final and perhaps most difficult front in Chief Executive James Gorman’s drive to reduce staff costs across the bank.

For now, executives are considering changes at the margins: cutting pay for brokers who generate the least revenue for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and slashing the money it sets aside to lure experienced new hires. Executives have been hashing out possibilities for the 2015 broker pay plan in recent weeks, but have not made any final decisions.

Jun 17, 2014

Morgan Stanley’s Fleming eyes fee-based account growth

New York (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which is poised to become the largest brokerage in the United States by assets, sees fee-based accounts making up 40 percent of all the money it invests for clients, its top executive said.

Gregory Fleming, who runs the bank’s brokerage arm as president of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, said at the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit so-called advisory assets are growing at a healthy pace and that they could make up as much as 40 percent of overall assets in the future.

Jun 16, 2014

Morgan Stanley hires Mitchell for tailored loans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley has hired a senior loan executive and his team from Deutsche Bank AG to cater to high net worth clients who want to buy or borrow against real estate, yachts, artwork and other luxury items.

The Wall Street bank has hired Marcus Mitchell to head its tailored lending team, said Gregory Fleming, president of wealth management and investment management, at the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit on Monday.

Jun 11, 2014

Banks are not getting much use out of U.S. stress tests – survey

NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve wants
banks to get something out of their annual stress tests beyond
just ticking the box of regulatory compliance, but few banks
actually do, according to a survey to be released later this

Moody’s Analytics polled 32 chief risk officers and others
who took part in the stress tests this year, or may be required
to participate next year. All said they used the results for
“regulatory compliance,” but when it came to business decisions
the numbers were much lower.

Jun 10, 2014

Banks search for loopholes in leveraged loan guidelines

NEW YORK, June 10 (Reuters) – Wall Street banks are playing
cat-and-mouse with U.S. regulators over rules that seek to
reduce lending for deals that load up companies with too much
debt, as they try to retain a profitable business and meet
demands from clients and investors.

Leveraged lending is one of the most lucrative forms of
loans for banks, giving Wall Street an incentive to accommodate
borrowers as much as it can. Banks fees on U.S. junk-rated loans
stand at $4.9 billion so far this year, a year-to-date record
and up 10 percent from the same period last year, according to
Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting data.

Jun 2, 2014

Goldman names Scherr chief strategy officer -memo

NEW YORK, June 2 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc
said on Monday that Stephen Scherr will become chief strategy
officer at the start of 2015, replacing Andrew Chisolm who will
retire after nearly 30 years.

Scherr is currently global head of Goldman’s financing group
within the investment banking division, a position he has held
since 2008. He will continue to assist in the Wall Street bank’s
lending efforts and maintain his role as head of Latin America,
Goldman said.

May 29, 2014

Banks deny KKR buyout loan amid regulatory crackdown

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Three longtime banks for private equity firm KKR & Co LP (KKR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have snubbed a request for a $725 million buyout loan over concerns it is too risky to pass muster with U.S. regulators, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

The banks had funded a similar deal six months earlier.

The Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp jointly issued guidelines in March 2013 that require banks to cut down on junk-rated loans that would raise the debt levels of a company beyond certain thresholds.

May 23, 2014

Exclusive: Goldman’s Cohn takes on Washington to defend commodities

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn, who’s from Cleveland, are friendly enough that Brown has been known to rib Cohn for abandoning the Cleveland Indians baseball team in favor of the New York Yankees. The two men first met years ago, and Cohn and his family, who are also Democrats, have contributed to Brown’s campaigns.

They may like each other, but the two men are antagonists in a battle over whether Goldman can maintain its lucrative role in physically trading stuff ranging from aluminum to coal to natural gas to zinc.