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Opinion

Off the record

July 2018: An Awards for Excellence special

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you we should win this every year – it wouldn’t be credible. This year, [competitor’s name] should win”

Admirably honest, but not the best thing to say in earshot of your media relations team



“It feels like we’re wading through the devastated battlefield of 10 years of regulation following the financial crisis”

Another top bank CFO thinks he’s starting to win the war



“Deutsche Bank is on the last train to Palookaville”

Thinks a rival investment bank chief. We’re not sure where Palookaville is, but it doesn’t sound like a great destination



“Ruthless is exactly the verb I would use”

A leading bank CFO may have got his restructuring spot on, but he’s got some work to do on his grammar



“It’s all bullshit. We are banks. You shouldn’t try to be trendy when you reach our age”

The chief executive of a leading global bank doesn’t have much time for peers who say they’ve turned their businesses into technology companies



“Some of the edgiest and toughest people in the institution are involved in this” 

Corporate responsibility isn’t only for bleeding hearts



“February brought us to the death of Goldilocks”

What child would want this banker reading them bedtime stories



“I just hate this pitching stuff. I mean, I’m just not competitive, and I like what everyone is doing”

Only a head of corporate responsibility could get away with saying that



“Making sure people don’t get investigated has been quite a challenge over the last 12 months or so”

The trials of China M&A



“We may have lost many senior individuals, but we have gained in relevance”

Well, that’s something



“Better. Or worse. Or the same”

Some solid fence-sitting on IPO fee expectations for the next 12 months



“If I’m a tech entrepreneur, I want dual class shares. I don’t care that Professor Smith in Cambridge says it’s bad corporate governance. Fuck him!”

A Hong Kong banker explains why HKEx was right to offer dual-class shares



“They’re not all shit, but they’re pretty much all useless. Except … no, all of them”

A country head at a US bank offers a pithy summary of local banks’ investment banking capabilities



“Our story is not just high yield”

It absolutely is



“It’s because she was shit”

A banker explains a key departure to a rival



“If you create a league table for all the years since 2010, we are actually second in…”

How to kill a pitch in the first 17 words



“Serial transactors are getting decapitated”

The consequences of China M&A



“Fifteen years ago, you could win business because you went to college with the founder. That’s gone”

Asian investment banking ain’t what it used to be



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