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Apr. 19, 2015, 5:30 PM
Apr. 17, 2015, 2:50 AM
- Goldman Sachs' (NYSE:GS) blockbuster performance in stock trading last quarter has some Wall Street watchers speculating whether it beat rival Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) out of the top spot in equities.
- Goldman was head-and-shoulders above Morgan Stanley for many years in stock trading, but recently the latter gained ground: Morgan Stanley's 2014 stock-trading revenue surpassed Goldman's for the first time in at least a decade.
- Analysts have cautioned that while Goldman had a good quarter, broader challenges, such as electronic trading and tighter regulation, still exist. Investors will see whether Morgan Stanley's crown will fall next week.
Apr. 15, 2015, 3:58 AM
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has been offered more than $1B for its merchant oil trading business by Castleton Commodities International, a U.S.-based trading house.
- Morgan Stanley previously reached a deal to sell the unit to Rosneft, but the deal expired as it awaited U.S. regulatory approval in December amid tensions over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine.
- Previously: Morgan Stanley looking for another buyer for oil-storage unit (Feb. 02 2015)
Apr. 14, 2015, 3:40 PM
- Fast action at JPMorgan's trading and investment banking businesses helped the bank to consensus-beating Q1 results.
- The Corporate & Investment bank posted revenue of $9.58B in Q1, up 8% from a year ago and up 30% from Q4. Trading revenue of $5.67B gained 9% Y/Y, with a 4.5% rise in bond-trading revenue and a 22% increase in equity-trading revenue. M&A advisory revenue got off to its best start ever, up 42% from a year ago and 25% from Q4.
- Goldman Sachs (GS +1.1%) reports on Thursday and Morgan Stanley (MS +1.4%) on Monday.
- Previously: JPMorgan earnings call: Optimism on FICC (April 14)
- Previously: "Robust" activity in FICC leads strong quarter at JPMorgan (April 14)
Apr. 1, 2015, 6:28 PM
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) gave James Gorman the biggest raise yet among Wall Street CEOs for last year, hiking his pay 25% to $22.5M.
- Gorman collected an annual salary of $1.5M, a cash and stock bonus of $14.5M and longer-term incentive pay valued at up to $6.5M, capping his most lucrative year in his five running the company.
- The MS compensation committee said Gorman exceeded expectations, with the firm’s performance and shareholder returns “strong, with room for continued progress."
- CFO Ruth Porat, who is leaving this month to take the same role at Google, was awarded $13M, up from $12M a year earlier, while Colm Kelleher, who leads the investment banking and trading division, and Greg Fleming, who oversees wealth and asset management, each got $16M, up from $14.5M for 2013.
Apr. 1, 2015, 11:41 AM
- Noting both Goldman Sachs (GS +0.9%) and Morgan Stanley (MS +0.6%) have underperformed the broader markets YTD, JMP's Devin Ryan expects gains going forward, but not enough to make him a buyer yet.
- For Q1, Ryan says Goldman looks set to report the better quarter relative to expectations, but both should have good enough results to support current valuations. However, at about 1.2x tangible book value, Ryan isn't seeing a lot of room for multiple expansion.
- "We continue to look for either more dislocated valuations or signs of earnings expansion above our current expectations, to potentially become more constructive on shares at the large cap investment banks."
- Source: Barron's
Mar. 30, 2015, 11:35 AM
- Morgan Stanley (MS +1.8%) launched the compressed natural gas business - Wentworth - last year, but it quickly drew the not-so-admiring attention of the Fed, and crude oil prices have collapsed since, meaning natural gas is not so cheap of an alternative to black gold as it was last summer.
- The business will be transferred to a newly-formed company called Pentagon Energy, with two bank managers involved with Wentworth exiting Morgan Stanley to run the company.
- Source: Reuters
Mar. 27, 2015, 6:57 AM
- At the prompting of at least one BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) director, recruiting firm Spencer Stuart firm has come up with a list of potential candidates to replace embattled CEO Gerald Hassell.
- Gregory Fleming, who runs wealth and investment management at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), has been contacted about the position, Reuters reports.
- Other potential candidates include Mary Erdoes, who runs JPMorgan's (NYSE:JPM) asset management business and Michael Cavanagh, a former JPMorgan executive who is now COO at P-E firm Carlyle (NASDAQ:CG).
- Previously: Marcato demands new leadership at BNY Mellon (Mar. 10 2015)
Mar. 27, 2015, 2:36 AM
- Ruth Porat, who said earlier this week she would leave her job as Morgan Stanley's (NYSE:MS) finance chief to take the same role at Google (GOOG, GOOGL), will be paid more than $70M in the next two years through a combination of restricted stock units and a biennial grant.
- She will also make more than most Wall Street CEOs, including her old boss, Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman, who was paid $18M in 2013.
- Google's outgoing CFO Patrick Pichette was paid $62.2M for the three years through 2013.
- Previously: Google hires new CFO from Morgan Stanley (Mar. 24 2015)
Mar. 26, 2015, 4:37 PM
- The big banks have had a rough start to the year, but surging trading volume in bonds, currencies, and commodities in Q1 could make for pleasant surprises when the lenders report quarterly results next month, writes John Carney.
- The average daily trading volume across all U.S. bonds was up 10.6% Y/Y through the end of February, according to Sifma, with trading in corporate bonds up 18.1%, driven by a big rise in issuance. Trading in Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie MBS was up 35.3% from a year ago.
- Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) could be a particular beneficiary, as about 25% of its revenue is generated by FICC, and Credit Suisse sees the bank posting its first year-over-year increase in that unit's revenue since 2009.
- Others of interest: Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, KCE, RWW, RYF, KBWC, FINZ
Mar. 26, 2015, 11:00 AM
- Decoupling of global monetary policy continues to drive dispersion in markets and opportunities for trading businesses to monetize client flows," say Credit Suisse's Christian Bolu and Susan Katzke, expecting healthy Q1 results from the brokerage industry.
- They also note the "digestion" of sizable M&A backlogs will provide a boost to earnings.
- The team boosts its Q1 EPS estimate for Goldman Sachs (GS -0.3%) to $4.30 from $4.16, and see Q1 year-over-year FICC growth for the first time since 2009. ROE should be an industry-leading 11%. They'll also be looking for management earnings call commentary surrounding capital plans. The target price of $225 is 1.3x book value and 12x 2016 estimated earnings.
- Morgan Stanley (MS -0.2%), however, rates just a Neutral as core trading revenues will be lower Y/Y thanks to elevated commodities revenue a year ago.
Mar. 26, 2015, 7:41 AM
- The moves are key to the next phase of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) CEO James Gorman's turnaround plan, as well as to build a bench for the next generation of leadership.
- The bank this week promoted 46 year-old investment banker Jonathan Pruzan to CFO to replace the departing Ruth Porat.
- Were Gorman to exit sooner rather than later, the short list of successors would include the head of wealth management Greg Fleming and the head of investment banking Colm Kelleher, but the list is far longer if Gorman moves along further down the road (which appears to be his intention at the moment).
- Less noticed than the Porat departure was last week's reshuffle of securities and wealth management leadership - the intention of which was to "cross-pollinate" key management.
Mar. 25, 2015, 8:04 AM
- Jonathan Pruzan "understands the current regulatory environment, having shepherded clients” through the stress tests and CCAR, says Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) CEO James Gorman.
- Rather than counseling Gorman, Pruzan has spent much of his career advising the bank's competitors on many of the same regulatory issues - capital raises/returns, expand/shrink the balance sheet, and stroking/confronting regulators and ratings agencies - he'll have to deal with as CFO.
- "In the old days, the CFO was more of a clinician who worked on the numbers," says U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis who has known Pruzan for over a decade and calls him "perfectly suited" for job. "But now financial-services firms have to work on the stress tests, and handle the diplomacy that goes with working with the ratings agencies, the analysts, the shareholders and all the constituencies who have to meet with him."
- Source: WSJ
- Previously: Morgan Stanley moves quickly to fill CFO slot (March 24)
Mar. 24, 2015, 9:33 AM
- Current co-head of the Global Financial Institutions Group at the bank, Jonathan Pruzan will take over for Ruth Porat as Morgan Stanley's (MS -0.7%) CFO, according to a company-wide memo from CEO James Gorman.
- Pruzan has been with the bank for more than 20 years, and played a big role helping clients through the Fed's stress test and CCAR processes.
- Previously: Google hires new CFO from Morgan Stanley (March 24)
Mar. 24, 2015, 9:18 AM
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) CFO Ruth Porat has been named Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) new CFO, effective May 26.
- Porat, 57, has been Morgan Stanley's CFO since 2009. Before that, she was the company''s vice chair of investment banking. In 2013, Porat was rumored to be in the running for deputy Treasury secretary, before withdrawing her name from the race.
- News of her hiring comes two weeks after Google announced long-time CFO Patrick Pichette is retiring. Many investors have been hoping a new CFO will sign off on dividends and/or buybacks - Morgan Stanley has a history of providing both during Porat's tenure as CFO.
- GOOG +1.1% premarket to $565.00.
Mar. 23, 2015, 11:53 AM
- A Pittsburgh-based father-daughter team adds to the rank of breakaway wealth managers, and have begun transitioning more than $200M in client assets they managed while at Morgan Stanley (MS -0.3%), reports the WSJ.
- The new firm, Botkin Group, is affiliated with LPL Financial (LPLA -0.4%).
- “We focus on people who need to generate income from their investments,” says Sara Botkin. "The big firms are having a bit more of a push toward banking and lending [products]...our clients don’t want to take on debt.”
Morgan Stanley through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides financial products and services to a diversified group of clients and customers, including corporations, governments, financial institutions and individuals.
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