October 2005

Cover Story

Ken Thompson interview: Wachovia on Wall Street

Ken Thompson interview: Wachovia on Wall Street

Wachovia's Ken Thompson wants his firm to be the best financial institution in the US. His ambitions extend to investment banking. As Wachovia makes its move on Wall Street, Kathryn Tully spoke to Thompson and the rest of his management team. Should the traditional bulge bracket be concerned?

Hedge funds

Hedge funds look for new game plans

Hedge funds look for new game plans

Convertible arbitrage and short-selling have been the cornerstones of hedge fund strategies. Competition and difficult underlying markets, however, are forcing managers to reconsider their game plans.

Capital raising

Private banking

Julius Baer springs surprise

Julius Baer springs surprise

Chairman Raymond Baer describes Julius Baer's deal as truly transformational. A rising stock price suggests investors agree. Analysts identify the private bank, after the purchase of SBC Wealth Management, as the outstanding restructuring story in European banking. But this deal wasn't what the market expected.

Cash management

Cash management poll 2005

Cash management poll 2005

Citigroup and HSBC are neck and neck at the pinnacle of the cash management business, according to Euromoney's latest poll. Other firms trail far behind.

The dash for cash

Sustained competition, falling margins and regulatory pressures mean that the world of cash management and payments is heading towards an inflection point. The EU's Single Euro Payments Area project is adding yet more fuel to the fire that will force banks to re-evaluate their strategies, writes Peter Koh.

Twist in the tail for MGM screenplay

With a growing retail DVD business, MGM needed a revamped cash management system to make the most of the cashflows. In the end the system's highly successful implementation might well have also increased the company's attractiveness as an acquisition target.

Corporate governance

Editorial

Why corporate business is king

Why corporate business is king

At the IMF/WB meetings the great and the good of the international bond markets gathered to sell their wares to sovereign and supranational issuers. These potential clients remain some of the trophy issuers in debt capital markets, but they are not the kings of issuers they once were.

Front End

Market leaders

Switzerland's broken model

The clubby world of private banking is under threat. The UBS/Julius Baer deal shows how tough it will be for foreign banks to break into the market.

How insurers withstood Katrina

Hurricane Katrina has wreaked havoc in numerous ways but insurance companies appear well positioned to deal with the single largest event in the industry's history.

Debt markets

Credit: Central banks head off piste

In recent months several European central banks have started to diversify their portfolios, having traditionally bought only government debt. Leading fund managers are in the frame to manage credit portfolios of central bank reserves.

Structured credit

Foreign Exchange

Equity markets

Fund management

Corporate finance

Prey becomes predator

Companies from emerging markets are on the acquisition trail, and their targets now include firms in North America and Europe. Sudip Roy reports on a trend that could be the biggest driver of global M&A transactions within the next few years.

Asia Pacific

Banks: Investment jigsaw takes shape

Investment by foreign banks and investors in domestic Chinese banks is not over, but it seems that the recent frenzy of activity has abated, with most of the big deals now signed or at least agreed.

Latin America

Argentine banks turn the corner

After three years of heavy losses, Argentina's banks are once again in the black. The sustainability of their recovery, though, depends on expanded lending to the private sector and greater duration for their liabilities. Sudip Roy reports.

EMEA

Fraudsters manipulate share price of Dubai Islamic Bank

The UAE's financial regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority, announced on September 6 that the case of two individuals and a brokerage suspected of manipulating the stock price of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) had been referred to the judiciary.

Lebanese consider bond issue

The Lebanese government is believed to be considering a $500 million international bond issue to cover debt payments reaching maturity.

On the road to euroland

Rating agency Fitch has released its latest assessment of when the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004 are likely to join the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM) II and adopt the euro. Its findings are not particularly encouraging.

Against the tide

Flipside

Malaysia's murk prompts welcome transparency

Malaysia's murk prompts welcome transparency

Wreathed in a thick summer smog, it seems that Kuala Lumpur is not so much what tourist ads call "truly Asia" as "truly hazier". But the decision to publish air pollution data – previously a state secret – is at least a signal that Malaysia's politics are becoming clearer.