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Opinion

Quotes of the month

“When I joined Lehman Brothers in 1981, it had capital of about $125 million, similar to Morgan Stanley, while Goldman Sachs looked like a giant with $200 million. These were the days when firms didn’t compete for each other’s clients. If AT&T worked with Morgan Stanley, the rest of us wouldn’t go after it. And all of that capital was being used by the various firms’ partners to the benefit of clients. These were not risk-taking businesses. It was a hugely client-centric business model. That is the model that Evercore is going back to”

Ralph Schlosstein, chief executive of Evercore, is moving his firm up the league tables with an old-fashioned approach



“I have been somewhat obsessed with Amazon this year. In many respects, it is bigger than JPMorgan – more people, more countries, bigger market capitalization, greater revenue and they probably move more things every day than we do trades. Yet I suspect that Amazon would probably be seen as a more innovative company, so it can’t be that big companies can’t be innovative, although it may be that most big companies aren’t innovative”

David Hudson, JPMorgan’s head of markets execution, is obsessed with Amazon’s relentless focus on the customer journey – and how it can be applied to investment banking



“I don’t care so much about the ‘branch of the future’. I need the person of the future in the branch. If they are sitting in a shed, that’s fine”

Alexander Picker, chief executive of Serbia’s Komercijalna Banka, is not believer in all-digital branches



“We are getting Australia’s version of the global zeitgeist about big business and big banking. And some aspects of that we’ve brought on ourselves, or at least made worse, and other aspects are our version of what’s been happening around the world. Either way, it’s something we’ve got to acknowledge and respond to”

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s chief executive Ian Narev spoke to Euromoney in Sydney on July 25. It is fair to say he and his bank have faced a bit more of that zeitgeist since then – including a money laundering scandal that forced Narev’s own retirement 



“I spent my career in the capital markets because of what was discussed at the dinner table with my father. I hated it. I couldn’t believe this was what we did every night. [But] from when I was a child, I recognized the power of the capital markets”

World Bank Treasurer Arunma Oteh was also forced to read companies’ annual reports growing up in Nigeria. But the lessons she learnt then are now pushing her to develop new financial tools to address the world’s most pressing issues



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