The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

US banks dare to cross cultures

BankAmerica, Bankers Trust and NationsBank, each bought a specialist West Coast equity house last year. Integration proceeds apace with the predicted clash of cultures. Cross-selling of products is a controversial issue as are compensation systems. Even office environments are a total contrast. Says one investment banker: "Nothing has really changed here. That's the way people like it." It may be 10 years before we can judge these mergers' success or failure. By Michelle Celarier.

Euro-gigantism

Hungry ING looks for its next meal

A jumble of incentives


When investment bankers at San Francisco-based high-tech boutique Robertson Stephens began to receive regular e-mail messages about business developments at their new parent, BankAmerica, they feared the worst: "It was an indication that big brother had come," says a Robertson Stephens source. It wasn't that the e-mails were directives on anything substantial, he says: "The news was just irrelevant. It didn't add any value."

Downstairs, in the corridors of the much larger financial institution, the commercial bankers at BankAmerica were likewise annoyed by their new colleagues. "It's typical for them to underestimate the value that a commercial banker can bring to the business; the assumption is that he's not as sophisticated," says a former commercial banker at BankAmerica. This banker left soon after the merger, when a series of meetings between the commercial and investment bankers convinced him the integration of these two disparate cultures would be difficult to achieve.

Unlikely marriages

Out of a dozen mergers between US banks and securities firms last year that were prompted by the relaxation of Glass-Steagall rules separating the two businesses, none illustrates the clash of cultures more sharply than the $540 million all-cash BankAmerica-Robertson Stephens deal.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree