August 2018

August 2018

The master strategist: How Tidjane Thiam brought a revolution to Credit Suisse

It took an outsider to turn around Credit Suisse, to force executives and shareholders to accept that they had been following a false dream of a trading-dominated business that could somehow avoid blow-ups and produce acceptable returns. Tidjane Thiam has shrunk those businesses but also given them a chance to live on now as the servants of a revived wealth management operation with a focus on the richest entrepreneurs in emerging markets. His three-year battle to reduce risk, cut costs, raise capital, deal with regulators and identify and grow more promising business will be a case study in bank restructuring.

Top Stories

Libor: Changing the frame of reference

Libor: Changing the frame of reference

There’s a rush to find an alternative to ‘ibors’, but with just three years to go before banks might stop submitting Libor altogether, regulators and market participants are still trying to figure out the right questions to ask.

Berenberg’s global ambitions

Berenberg wants to transform itself from a German firm to a European one with a UK mindset, before eventually taking on Wall Street. Partners Hans-Walter Peters and Hendrik Riehmer are convinced the old merchant banking model can be modernized, but can they avoid the pitfalls of rapid expansion?

Xiaomi landmark falls short

The first dual-class deal in Hong Kong; the intended first Chinese depositary receipt: Xiaomi’s IPO was not short of landmark intentions, but only some were delivered.

Special Focus

Direct lending’s growing pains

Direct lending’s growing pains

More and more private equity sponsors in Europe are now comfortable using direct lenders in their deals – indeed many have done so multiple times. After a record volume of fundraising in 2017, funds are competing ever more fiercely for the mandates on offer – and in the process some are losing sight of the real risk adjusted returns that they are chasing.

Columns

Sideways: The Jamie Dimon ex-deputies club

If JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake becomes the banker most likely to succeed Jamie Dimon as chief executive before mysteriously deciding to pursue interests outside the group, she will be in good company.

Broken China should scare LatAm

Any slowdown in the economy of the country that consumes so much local output will bring short-term pain and should be a long-term warning.

Banking

Latin America

Latin America: Almeida takes up the reins at Bram

Latin America: Almeida takes up the reins at Bram

Bradesco Asset Management is the third-largest asset manager in Brazil, with R$600 billion AuM. In March, it appointed a new chief executive with an equities background. Is this a sign of where the organization expects the money to go?

Emerging Europe

Emerging markets: Exotix goes global to follow its dreams

Emerging markets: Exotix goes global to follow its dreams

Can a failing frontier markets brokerage transform itself into a full-service investment bank? Duncan Wales, head of Exotix, believes it can be done through the creation of a global partnership network – and so does his backer, Icap founder Michael Spencer.

Middle East & Africa

Lebanon: Turbulence can’t touch Blom

Lebanon: Turbulence can’t touch Blom

Saad Azhari has quietly ushered in a new era at Blom Bank. The outwardly conservative firm has embraced technology and pulled off a transformative acquisition for its wholesale business. But prudence remains the watchword in such a tempestuous market.

CSR

Asia Pacific

China’s banks to face new NPL hit

China’s banks to face new NPL hit

A new rule change will require Chinese banks to recognize more loans as impaired, but while big lenders will sail through, there’s trouble at the smaller end of town.

Comment

We need to talk about UK banks

While analysts focus on net interest margins and the turning credit cycle, there is an extraordinary risk hiding in plain sight.