CreditSights draws a bead on complexity
Glenn Reynolds can't make the meeting with Euromoney. The chief executive of independent credit research firm CreditSights has been asked to give testimony before one of the congressional committees investigating the Enron saga. He has less than two days to prepare for it.
That is some accolade for a firm that has been in business for less than 18 months. And it is a bit of a surprise. "We haven't really marketed ourselves so widely that we'd expect a call from Congress," says Paul Ciasullo, the firm's president and head of business development.
But US lawmakers are seeking to understand the causes of the spectacular collapse of Enron - aside from the energy trader's huge sponsorship of politicians and massive use of lobbyists, of course - and are focusing on the role played by investment banks. The independence or otherwise of research is an obvious issue to consider and questioning the head of an independent firm staffed by former brokerage analysts is a logical step.
Objectivity is the firm's chief selling point. "At investment banks, who pays you dictates what you do," says Ciasullo, who has worked at Lehman Brothers, CSFB, Prudential Securities and, most recently, IBJ/Aubrey Lanston.