Monday, November 19, 2007

Bank chiefs face three tough issues

“3 pressing Issues for Incoming chief executives of investment banks Q407-2008”

How will they reward their best people?
Which growth bets are they going to take?
How can they control non-compensation costs, which have rocketed?

1. Compensation: Massive writedowns in fixed income and leveraged loan businesses have put staff bonuses under threat. But with some equity capital markets and mergers and acquisitions departments producing record revenues, banks must strike the right balance to keep top performers.

Upside: removal of department heads, holding departmental heads accountable, reshuffles are positive because group-think can set in during a downturn ...

2 Making the right bets: expectations of a full recovery in the credit markets but not until after 2008, banks and shareholders anticipate more growth next year and more (geographic (or) business) risk,

Upside: growth areas in emerging markets, non-debt related structured products and commodities ...

3 Controlling costs:
in the past five years infrastructure cost (IT and Risk management) has rocketed. Fall in revenues exposes how much banks’ platform costs have increased. Big banks look to take ‘offshoring’ to the limit -- exporting costs to external providers, even Human Resources. Growth in emerging markets (Russia, Turkey and the Middle East) ...

Upside: constant investment and upgrades in infrastructure. Small banks considering giving more budgetary power to individual business units in order to impose cost controls more locally ...

Source: e-Financials News

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