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Opinion

Abigail Hofman: Awards for Excellence

A number of senior financiers made an enormous effort to join the party

Euromoney held its 40th anniversary Awards for Excellence dinner in early July. Many people want to found a firm that endures but few succeed. So we were honoured to be joined at the anniversary dinner by 85-year-old Sir Patrick Sergeant, who founded the magazine and the company in 1969, as well as Euromoney’s chairman, Padraic Fallon. A number of senior financiers made an enormous effort to join the party – either by altering their schedules or by flying many miles. Some did both. Kevan Watts, president of DSP Merrill Lynch, was the investment banker who worked on the IPO of Euromoney in 1986. He travelled from Mumbai. Paul Calello, the chief executive of Credit Suisse’s investment bank, flew from Beijing and Karen Peetz, Bank of New York Mellon’s head of financial markets and treasury services, came from New York. Other guests at the top tables included Michael Geoghegan, chief executive of HSBC; Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of HSBC’s investment bank; Walter Berchtold, the head of Credit Suisse’s private banking business; Eric Varvel, Credit Suisse’s chief executive for the EMEA region; António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Abbey National; Hans-Joerg Rudloff, chairman of Barclays Capital; Gerry Murphy, senior managing director of Blackstone; John Hourican, head of global banking and markets at RBS; and Eva Castillo, the head of wealth management, Merrill Lynch, EMEA.

Josef Ackermann, chairman of Deutsche Bank’s management board, was honoured with a lifetime achievement award. Ackermann made a forceful speech in which he urged: "We must win back public confidence and trust. The business decisions we make, the way we behave, and the way we reward ourselves, must be absolutely focused on creating long-term value for all our stakeholders..." (see full transcript here). Deutsche Bank is one of a select group of financial institutions that did not take government funds during the crisis. Ackermann’s contract as chief executive has been extended until 2013. I was nevertheless interested to hear a guest volunteer that Ackermann could be a contender to head the World Bank when he leaves Deutsche. He would be an excellent choice for such a role although the top job at the World Bank normally goes to a US citizen. 

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Identity crisis at Morgan Stanley? 

Morgan Stanley’s fixed-income traders have not excelled and in 2009 the firm has failed to capitalize on opportunities in the flow businesses

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