Summit Notebook

Todd Thomson says background ‘pretty good’ for Citi’s top job

November 6, 2007

thomson2.jpgIs Todd Thomson, former head of global wealth management at Citigroup, angling to return to his former employer as CEO?

Sandler O’Neill CEO sees more aggressive foreign buyers

November 5, 2007

jimmy.jpgJames Dunne, chief executive of Sandler O’Neill, a boutique brokerage which specializes in advising banks and other financial services companies on mergers and takeovers, expects foreign buyers to become increasingly active players in financial institutions M&A in the U.S. He says they will be drawn by the weakness of the U.S. dollar and as many domestic players retreat from making takeovers amid the current credit markets turbulence.

Which bank is telling the truth?

November 5, 2007

peabody.jpgIndependent analyst Charles Peabody of Portales Partners freely admits he looks at the financial services industry from a decidedly pessimistic viewpoint. It’s no big surprise, then, that he’s a big skeptic when it comes to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which has so far wowed investors with its ability to weather a subprime crisis that has forced multibillion-dollar writeoffs at rivals such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch & Co.

Lutnick sees “It’s a Wonderful Life” threat to U.S. economy

November 5, 2007

Howard Lutnick, the head of Cantor Fitzgerald, says he fears that bankers may start to behave like George Bailey and his father in the iconic 1946 movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and keep loans on their books to maturity.

Audio – Mexico’s pension overhaul should benefit markets

March 21, 2007

A proposal to overhaul one of the government’s pension systems was cleared by congressional committees this week in a rare agreement between Mexico’s top political parties. The legislation introduces private retirement accounts for public-sector workers but still needs approval from the Congress lower chamber and Senate.

Audio – Bid for Delta Air Lines “first step in a long dance”

November 15, 2006

jacobs.jpgUS Airways Group’s takeover bid for Delta Air Lines is “the first step in a long dance” of increasing consolidation in the U.S. airline industry, Lazard Freres & Co. Deputy Chairman Kenneth Jacobs told the Reuters Investment Banking Summit in New York. ”I think that the massive restructuring that has gone on through the bankruptcy process, which is still underway for at least two of the players, probably enables more activity to take place now than at any other period of time. So, we are on the tip of the iceberg here.”

Audio – Cowen & Co. IPO “a rocky start”

November 15, 2006

cowen.jpg Cowen & Co. CEO Kim Fennebresque gives the story behind the story of the stock’s rocky debut.
“We had the problem of going out with a price everybody knew made no sense,” he said.

Audio – The 4 D’s – death, divorce, disability and…

November 15, 2006

hendler.jpggetting dinged at your job.” These are the things that CreditSights analyst David Hendler says often hit paycheck-to-paycheck borrowers when they take out loans, dealing a blow to banks that go down-credit in pursuit of higher margins and yields. He said even unemployment rates in the 5 to 6 percent range could start to cut into the performance of loans to the riskiest borrowers.

Audio – A $40 billion leveraged buyout in the next year?

November 14, 2006

blackstone.jpgBlackstone Group President Tony James thinks so. When asked if he foresees a $40 billion deal in the next year, he said:
    
“Go out on a limb here, yeah I think so,” he said at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit.
    
He added that it would be very difficult to do a leveraged buyout that reaches beyond that. Leveraged buyouts have been getting increasingly large this year as private equity firms have been said to raise funds around the $20 billion level.

Audio – Merger mania going strong

November 14, 2006

hersch2.jpg JP Morgan’s Chairman of M&A Dennis Hersch told the Reuters Investment Banking Summit said he sees M&A stronger than 2000 levels, given the differences in valuations, and expects the run will continue into 2007.