And the winner is…


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Winners and losers reflect on the results.

On the face of it, Deutsche Bank has taken a tumble. After soundly trouncing Citibank last year, capturing an impressive 12.53% market share, it's back in second place.

And Citi, having decided that it liked the view from the top much better than the vista from the third floor, wins again, albeit by a less convincing margin. So is Deutsche discouraged by the brevity of its stint at the top? Not according to Hal Herron, head of global foreign exchange at the bank: "we have been in the top two for the last four years and we intend to remain there," he says.

Herron stresses that while surveys are important, they are really just a snapshot of what's going on at a particular point in time.

Last year, he seemed slightly more enthusiastic about the accuracy of that snapshot though. His words on learning of Deutsche's victory: "we are building a sustainable business based on long-term client relationships and the figures speak for themselves." This year, apparently, they don't. Though the numbers say Deutsche's share has fallen, Herron insists that forex revenues hit an all-time high in 2000 and says business is growing faster than ever.

The rise of Goldman Sachs has raised a few eyebrows among market participants. Even the bank itself seems slightly surprised by the magnitude of its success - reaching third position from sixth in 2000. Goldman has prided itself in previous years on taking a brains not brawn approach to it foreign exchange business. But, on hearing where the bank ranked in market share, co-head of global FX Geoff Grant suggested that it isn't averse to being the brawn too. "We made the decision early on that we weren't going to be a niche player in this business," he says. "Our goal was to have a deep relationship with pretty much all the major participants."

At Citibank, head of foreign exchange Richard Moore is keen to point out the similarity between his remarks and those of his predecessor, Guy Whittaker, who said last year that he "wasn't even slightly gloomy" about finishing third. And so, for consistency's sake, Moore isn't jumping for joy this year either. "Of course we're pleased with first place but one poll result in one year will not become the centrepiece of our marketing or advertising strategy and is certainly no basis for complacency," he says.

While Moore appears dismissive, insiders say that senior management at Citigroup were fiercely determined that the forex department had to do whatever it might take to regain their lead, after last year's disappointment. Could it be that he's playing it cool?

Apparently the champagne was flowing on the trading floor after news broke of Citi's victory. And, despite the fact that he was officially on annual leave that day, Moore took part in the celebrations with gusto, joining his colleagues for a slap-up lunch. Perhaps when Euromoney met him the next day his enthusiasm had been dampened by a sore head.