Off the record

COPYING AND DISTRIBUTING ARE PROHIBITED WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER: SContreras@Euromoney.com

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June 2020

“Companies are in denial. We run a downside scenario with different assumptions and then we say: ‘You have a five billion hole in your balance sheet.’ They are pissed off, we continue on that journey for about four weeks, and then they capitulate”

Patience is a virtue in banking


“Activists have crawled into a ditch. First, they had portfolio problems. Second, they realised that you can’t go torture some company because you think you have a great opportunity”

One activist critic points out that coronavirus is a humanitarian crisis. If it was a financial crisis, things would be different


“If all PE sponsors pulled down their capital calls, how many pension funds would be able to meet them?” 

One investor points out the flaw in all of those private equity dry powder numbers


“Kids come to us for financial advice, or to their peer group, but not to their parents. They trust us because we are not perceived to be part of the establishment” 

One universal lender with Asia operations pretends it is TikTok. 

“We had an off-site last year. The key outcome was realising we spent most of our time in bloody meetings when we could be out there getting things done. Covid-19 has accelerated our desire to be streamlined in everything we do” 

The CEO of one lender mulls the futility of the 9am meeting 


“Most people think they are smart and savvy investors, but when you dig into their data, you realise almost no one is. Everyone just follows the herd” 

One private banker tells Euromoney about the state of financial education among some HNWs

“In China, the Belt and Road Initiative is ignored when it looks like it’s working well and unpopular when it looks like it isn’t. The revelation that China is the biggest global creditor to struggling countries in the emerging world won’t go down well”

A BRI banker explains how the programme fell out of favour in his homeland