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Quotes of the month

“What’s so bad about being good at financing? Are our critics saying that M&A advisory is a skill but that financing is not? Trust me, you can be bad at financing. You can read the markets wrong, be too quick to commit or not commit fast enough. Having the best read on where your clients can raise the money to get a strategic transaction done, how quickly, in what amounts and with what degree of certainty is vital”

Tom Montag, co-chief operating officer at our Investment Bank of the Year Bank of America Merrill Lynch, rejects criticism that the firm relies on its balance sheet to win business

“Commercial banking is similar to Wal-Mart but investment banks should be more like Louis Vuitton. Sure, supermarkets make more money and some are dominant in their markets, but if you get the luxury goods sector right the returns can also be phenomenal. In my opinion it is a risk to merge the two without being very careful not to mix the different DNAs – why would you put designer handbags between potatoes and tomatoes and run these businesses identically?”

But Andrea Orcel, head of investment banking at UBS, our Bank of the Year, says commercial and investment banking don’t mix

“I’m 55. My succession plan is not to die. Seriously, I intend to be here for a while. The firm has over 90 MDs located in 15 offices around the world and we are well known for innovative independent advice…so as much as I hate to admit it, the firm would do just fine if something were to happen to me”

Ken Moelis, our Banker of the Year, responds pithily when we ask him if investors brought up the issue of key-man risk when he floated his eponymous investment bank

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