29 Mar 2017

Apocalyptic forecasts for UK Finance miss key points

I am tired to repeat the same old arguments (first published back in Feb 2016!) that Brexit is not the Armageddon that some predict. While some firms will boost their presence on the Continent London will benefit by being more open to the 'rest' of the World. Being in sole charge of policy the UK will be much more nimble than the multi-headed EU bureaucracy that has to satisfy 27 squabbling member states. And spreading staff all over Europe will do nothing for the efficiency of the (mostly) larger financial firms that de-emphasise London. Why triggering Brexit signals a long, slow bleed for the UK banking sector

28 Mar 2017

ECB's Sabine Lautenschlager on Brexit banking passport tests

Refreshing honesty from a perfect representative of the 'Deep State', German version. Fortunately the major banks - they are the ones who do the predominant share of Continental European business - are well established in relevant countries. So this is more empty posturing by a life-long bureaucrat that has to sing to the statist hymn sheet.
ECB's Sabine Lautenschlager on Brexit banking passport tests - Business Insider

Brexit will bring four types of market distress

There will be some adjustment period and it could be turbulent. Problem with Brexit is that the final terms are not known so planning for the time after is tricky. Reason to get on with it - not hang around until 27 countries, the Eurocrats and the EU Parliament make up their mind.
Brexit will bring four types of market distress: Portfolio manager

24 Mar 2017

Deutsche Bank is planning a new London HQ despite Brexit

No surprise to our readers! Having too many major hubs is a recipe for inefficiency! There is only one Hollywood as well!
Deutsche Bank is planning a new London HQ despite Brexit

21 Mar 2017

Frankfurt is in 'pole position' in the Brexit jobs race

Been there dozens of times for business, nice people, but if anyone believes it will take over as THE major financial center I have a bridge to sell....
Frankfurt is in 'pole position' in the Brexit jobs race

20 Mar 2017

Texas Teachers - new Fee Model for Hedge Funds

Will 1+30 become the new standard? Relating the higher performance fee to some kind of hurdle rate is the problem. Which rate is suitable? And if is is some money market rate this is particularly problematic. At present rates are so low that beating them would not be that onerous. And if rates are high, 6, 7 or 8 pct, then the hurdle is difficult to overcome.

Outlook for Actice Asset Management no so bright

Morgan Stanley on active managers - Business Insider

18 Mar 2017

AllianceBernstein tries Performance Fees

The basic fee of 0.05% in case the funds underperform are quite meagre, will this approach be sustainable? The fee income has to pay for a lot of expenses. The comp for CEO Peter Kraus alone ($6.35 Mio according to Yahoo) would need a fund volume of 12.7 Billion (!!) to pay for, and that leaves NOTHING for any other costs!
AllianceBernstein Fires the Latest Shot in the Fee Wars (Barron's, PayWall)

16 Mar 2017

The Dystopian Future of Price Discrimination

Time for our Solons to stamp out any incipient abuses. Start with Google - ban collecting search history, ban selling slots on search results, then Amazon - break up the business, own sales and agency sales, Apple - divest from content sales

The Dystopian Future of Price Discrimination - Bloomberg View

Disclosing your Salary to prospective Employer?

This is why you shouldn’t lie to a future employer about your salary

London’s single market access will end with Brexit

No need to run scared, as I have stated earlier, an analysis of all business lines shows that the EU umbrella is not really that important. Major firms are already present in key locations on the Continent. In the long run a dynamic London financial centre serving the world without cumbersome regulations will win over Paris and Frankfort any time! And what about 'giving access' to London to banks/asset managers in the (doomed?) Eurozone?
London’s single market access will end with Brexit

15 Mar 2017

Untested Robo-Advisers Are Becoming a Big Market Risk - Bloomberg View

Assets under Management by Robo-Advisers are not yet that large. But when they are in the hundred of billions it will create the mother of all panics. The programs behind them - in addition to 'sophisticated' quant funds - will all rush to the exit at the same time! Sprinkle a few billions of ETF into the mix and the fun can start! No amount or margin/collateral will be able to cope with the resulting price changes. As I often said in this blog - near instantaneous price moves of 20-25% have to be expected. Remember October 1987! It DID happen, and that was at a time when overall volumes and assets where quite a bit smaller.
Untested Robo-Advisers Are Becoming a Big Market Risk - Bloomberg View

No one voted for Exchange of Tax Information

Quite apart from the fact that there are simpler ways to increase tax revenues the international agreement violates basic rules of a proper democracy. The agreement is negotiated several steps removed from what ordinary citizens care about, or what they want. Anonymous bureaucrats deal over the head of citizens in backroom fashion. A withholding tax would have been simple to introduce and administer and the privacy of savers would have been preserved.
The hypocrisy surrounding this form of legislation is evident when just recently the Italian government announced that the Super rich would be offered tax-haven status in Italy. A billionaire would be able to pay just €100.000 (!!) per year in full settlement of his tax obligations! And an (in)famous Italian, Signore Draghi does his best to confiscate the incomes of hundreds of millions of hard-working and honest citizens in order to bail out his profligate fellow-citizens.

Merger Poker - EFG, BTG Pactual and BSI Lugano

There is lots of talk about the need to get bigger in the Financial Services Industry. But there are plenty of potholes on the route to 'Bigger and Better'. Apart from accounting and valuation issues the question of contrasting management cultures can also pose significant integration risks. Do not write off smaller competitors or even nimble mid-sized Asset Managers or Private Banks.
Joe Strähle verrechnete sich mal kurz um 41% - Inside Paradeplatz

13 Mar 2017

How can I make performance reviews less painful for all concerned?

There was a time when people knew each other and box-ticking exercises were not necessary, O tempora o mores! Managing relationships with colleagues and staff should be a year-round task but all-too-often problems are allowed to fester - and the ritual of an annual review will not be enough to defuse the situation, if anything it just creates more tension.
How can I make performance reviews less painful for all concerned?

9 Mar 2017

Management Consultants - overcharging for Juniors?

Why would any sane Management engage Consultancy firms that charge them exorbitant hourly/daily rates but have the work done by juniors that have no relevant front-line experience in the industry? A fresh pair of eyes? Top Management often neglects the experience of those already working in the firm. Hierarchical thinking prevents feed-back from those that often see problems and how to resolve them at first hand. And what is the trackrecord of firms such as McKinsey? But of course, no one ever got fired for hiring IBM. But that it is in many cases an ex-staffer hiring his old firm - should that not cause alarm bells ringing? Was there a proper beauty parade before a firm is hired? And was there an inquiry that proved it was absolutely unavoidable?

McKinsey jetzt auch bei der Saxo Bank