Abigail with attitude: The banking industry will miss Joe Ackermann...
The tentacles of the phone hacking scandal at a UK newspaper, the News of the World, are spreading. In mid-July, the popular outcry reached feverish proportions and it looks as if the stability of the Murdoch media empire is in jeopardy.
Suddenly, journalism is the most reviled profession on the planet. Bankers can breathe more freely: their moment as public enemy number one might be over.
So it was ironic that bankers and journalists came together in early July for the Euromoney Awards for excellence dinner in London. Deutsche Bank was named the best global bank of 2011 and Barclays Capital won the award for best global investment bank.
As Deutsche’s chief executive, Josef Ackermann, spoke briefly about the euro, the European ideal and courage, I found myself thinking what a loss he will be for the industry when he finally retires.
Ackermann is not only a successful banker but also a sensible man who has the respect of European politicians and so can influence the European agenda. Two years ago, Euromoney honoured Ackermann with a lifetime achievement award.
I hope, as Ackermann has hinted, that he will remain within the industry after his retirement as CEO in 2013. This could be as chairman of the supervisory board, or in a continuation of his role as the chairman of the Institute of International Finance.
Euromoney’s banker of the year was Roberto Setúbal, the chief executive of the Brazilian Bank, Itaú Unibanco. During Setúbal’ s 17-year tenure, he has increased the market capitalisation of the firm more than 30-fold.