Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bank of America - Sub Prime Fall out Management

Bank of America reported second quarter 2008 results that excluded $2.3B in losses and $3.7B in credit-related write-downs stemming from its merger with CountryWide. The bank reported that its net income fell 41 percent to $3.41B, down from $5.76B a year ago. Write-downs also fell substantially:

The corporate and investment bank earned $1.75 billion, a 3.2 percent increase from a year earlier. Writedowns on securities fell to $645 million from $1.47 billion in the first quarter.

So the bank is reporting second quarter write-downs of $645M due to CDOs and $575M to investment banking, totaling $1.2B in write-downs sans CounrtyWide for the quarter.

Second quarter 2007

Bank of America is the second largest bank in the United States, with a market capitalization of $217 billion. Citigroup is the largest, with a market cap of $252 billion (figures in July 2007).

In the second quarter 2007 the company's provision for credit losses ballooned 79.2%, to $1.8 billion from $1.0 billion. For comparison, the provision in the first quarter was $1.2 billion, indicating that the subprime sector's woes still pack a mighty punch. Bank of America said its total managed losses were $2.8 billion in the second quarter, a slight tick up from $2.6 billion in the year-ago period.

3rd quarter 2007 - October 2007

The investment banking division was hurt badly by the turmoil in credit markets, as the weak performance in virtually all of its fixed-income activities caused profit to plummet 93 percent to $100 million, compared with $1.43 billion a year earlier.

Bank of America's small investment banking unit was hit particularly hard, weathering trading losses the same size as those of its larger peers. Profit fell 93 percent to $100 million from $1.43 billion a year ago. The decline stemmed from nearly all of its fixed-income operations, contributing to a $717 million loss. It also absorbed a $607 million loss from bad trading bets.

The bank's large consumer banking business absorbed heavy losses as it reinforced its reserves by $865 million, or 52 percent, in anticipation of higher losses across all businesses. While the division's revenues grew slightly to nearly $12 billion, profit fell 16 percent to $2.45 billion. About half of the reserves increase was expected to cover anticipated losses in its small business loan portfolio, and about 30 percent of the increase was linked to the deterioration of home equity loans.

Bank of America's wealth management division increased 17 percent from a year ago, to $599 million. However, about 10 percent of that increase was related to its acquisition of U.S. Trust, which was completed in July.

Net income for the entire company in the third quarter was $3.7 billion, or 82 cents a share, compared with $5.42 billion, or $1.18 a share, a year ago. Revenue declined 12 percent to $16.3 billion.

The results caught Wall Street off-guard and suggested the extent to which the bank was under stress from the downturn in the housing market and a slowdown in the economy. The heavy trading losses also raised questions about its risk management practices.

The earnings drop came after several months during which Bank of America had been doing deals. In July, it took a $2 billion stake in Countrywide Financial, giving it an immediate paper profit and an option to buy the troubled mortgage giant if it was ever put up for sale. More recently, it took over LaSalle Bank to expand its presence in Chicago, outmaneuvering rivals in an intense bidding war. Still, it has struggled to find ways to grow.

Bank of America announced that it is cutting roughly 3,000 jobs and launching a strategic review of its investment banking business after recent poor performance from the unit.

Gene Taylor, head of Global Corporate and Investment Banking, will retire at the end of this year and be replaced by Brian Moynihan, who currently runs the company's Global Wealth and Investment Management business.

Bank of America is mainly a large retail bank and commercial lender. But it has expanded into investment banking in recent years. CEO Lewis said the company wasn't pulling back completely from capital markets and investment banking.
Bank of America remains "committed to providing our commercial, corporate and institutional clients with the financial products and services they need to run their organizations effectively," he said in a statement.

Keith Banks, president of Columbia Management, Bank of America's asset management business, will replace Moynihan as president of Global Wealth and Investment Management, the company said.

January 2008

Net income at the Charlotte-based bank dropped to $268 million, or 5 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, 2007 from $5.26 billion, or $1.16 per share, a year ago.

The bank's revenue fell 32 percent to $12.67 billion from $18.49 billion last year.
Analysts expected earnings of 18 cents per share on revenue of $13.24 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

The quarter included results from LaSalle Bank, which Bank of America purchased on Oct. 1.

Results reflected $5.44 billion of trading losses, compared with profits of $460 million a year earlier. This reflected a $5.28 billion write-down related to collateralized debt obligations, which the bank said reduced trading profit by $4.5 billion and other income by about $750 million. Bank of America said it also set aside $3.31 billion for possible future credit losses.

For the year, Bank of America reported earnings of $14.98 billion, or $3.30 per share, compared with $21.13 billion, or $4.59 cents per share, in 2006. Revenue fell to $66.32 billion from $72.58 billion a year earlier.

Bank of America announced scaling back its investment banking operations, shedding an additional 650 jobs after suffering heavy trading losses from bad mortgage investments.

Those layoffs are on top of 500 jobs that were eliminated in mid-October, when Bank of America executives signaled plans of a retreat in investment banking. Together, they represent about 19 percent of the investment bank’s 5,900 employees.

They plan to pare back coverage of certain investment banking customers and narrow the services it provides to corporate clients overseas. They are also ratcheting down their trading activities, scaling back their presence in packaging mortgages and other complex securities that have been hit hardest by the credit crisis.

The Bank of America also plans to sell its prime brokerage unit, which faced steep competition and massive investment requirements.

The retreat or retrenchment was reacting to the realities of the market as of today was the explanation of Kenneth D. Lewis, Bank of America’s chairman and chief executive at a new conference.

The investment banking follows a strategic assessment that began in October after Brian Moynihan, a longtime Bank of America executive, became the head of the corporate and investment bank. Lewis expressed full confidence in Mr. Moynihan, who had never managed a trading business before, to put the investment bank back on track. “I trust him. I know he is bright and detail-oriented,” Mr. Lewis said, noting Mr. Moynihan’s knowledge of markets and dedication to the bank.

Bear Stearns - Collapse from Sub Prime Crisis 2007-08

At Bear, trading and handling money for clients has always been the main game. The firm made a steady profit as Wall Street's back office. For a long time that was enough. Particularly under the leadership of the legendary Alan "Ace" Greenberg, Bear's disciplined trading culture made it the "Sparta of Wall Street," in the words of Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz.

Bear grew jealous of the hugely profitable hedge funds run by the likes of Goldman Sachs When Bear decided to get into this riskier action, it did so by channeling other people's money into the funds, and only a little of its own. Due to this, instead of being highly risk-conscious and attentive to detail, the funds missed warning signs in the subprime mortgage market, and top management seemed disengaged.

The hedge funds' troubles started in April 2007, worsened in May, and by mid-June had become a full-blown crisis. Bear's injection of $1.6 billion couldn't save them. By mid-July both were next to worthless. Less than three weeks later, the stock was way down and Bear was selling more than $2 billion in debt, both to shore up its balance sheet and to demonstrate that its assets were still valued.

A former Bear executive summed up the irony: "The culture of being conservative and not betting the house's money -- all that got undermined."

Hedge Fund Story

The first fund, the Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Fund was started in 2004 and had done well, posting 41 months of positive returns of about 1 percent to 1.5 percent a month.

In August 2006, the Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Enhanced Leveraged Fund — the second fund that eventually had huge losses — was started with $600 million in investments, mostly from wealthy individual clients of Bear Stearns, and at least $6 billion in money borrowed from banks and brokerage firms. Bear Stearns and a handful of its top executives invested a mere $40 million in both funds.

The timing could not have been worse.

The Bear Stearns funds, like so many others, had invested in collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, which invest in bonds backed by hundreds of loans and other financial instruments. Wall Street sells CDOs in slices to investors. Some of those pieces have low yields but they are easily traded and carry less risk; others are more susceptible to defaults and trade infrequently, which makes them difficult to value.

As the sub prime problems surface, at first, the Bear Stearns hedge funds appeared to weather the storm. But in March, the older fund registered its first loss.
By April, the older fund was down by 5 percent for the year, and the newer fund had fallen 10 percent.

Managers tried to protect the fund by hedging potential losses in lower-rated securities they held, but did not do so for higher-rated bonds, which also fell in value.

There was a sharp restatement in April of the second fund. The firm revalued some securities and told investors that the fund was down 23 percent, not 10 percent as it had said earlier.

Shocked investors began contacting Bear Stearns, demanding to pull their money out.

In May, however, more significant problems began to emerge. The Swiss investment bank UBS shut its hedge fund arm, Dillon Read Capital Management, after bad subprime bets led to a $124 million loss.

In May, Bear Stearns froze all redemption requests. This month, at least three Wall Street firms — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch — began demanding more cash as collateral for the loans they had made.

Fighting to save the funds, Bear Stearns sold $3.6 billion in high-grade securities. Meanwhile, its adviser, Blackstone, scrambled to line up a deal in which Bear Stearns would put up $1.5 billion in new loans and a consortium of banks led by Citigroup and Barclays would put in $500 million.

In return, the lenders would have their exposure to the funds reduced but could not make further margin calls for 12 months.

Some lenders, including Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank, balked and moved to sell assets. At one point Wednesday, nearly $2 billion in securities were listed for sale, although some banks, including JPMorgan, eventually canceled scheduled auctions.

By the end of the day, out of the $850 million in securities that Merrill had put up for sale, only a small portion actually sold.

In the wake of the weak auctions, several other lenders, including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, reached deals with Bear Stearns. At least some of the deals involved the lenders selling the securities back to Bear Stearns for cash, although the prices were not disclosed.

Ralph R. Cioffi As the market for subprime mortgages was crumbling, the 51-year-old manager of two Bear Stearns (BSC) hedge funds, Ralph R. Cioffi, offered nothing but reassurances to investors. "We're going to make money on this," he promised his wealthy patrons in February 2007. "We don't believe what the markets are saying."

Serious doubts are expressed now on the funds' supposedly strong performance before their July 2007 bankruptcies. More than 60% of their net worth was tied up in exotic securities whose reported value was estimated by Cioffi's own team—something the funds' auditor, Deloitte & Touche, warned investors of in its 2006 report, released in May, 2007.

The Bear funds carried the imprimatur of one of the Street's oldest and most storied firms. The funds marketed themselves with the implicit backing of Bear Stearns and played up the fact that they were run by its experts in mortgage-backed securities. Now investors are left with a troubling question: If they can't count on big, well-established firms to operate hedge funds properly, whom can they count on?

The quick collapse of the inelegantly named Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies fund and High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage fund conjures memories of Long-Term Capital Management, the multibillion-dollar fund that blew up in 1998. In both cases, the damage helped ignite a worldwide credit crunch that prompted intervention by central bankers.

At the height in 2006, Cioffi was a central character in the booming mortgage CDO market, holding nearly $30 billion worth of securities. "Everybody wanted to do business with him because he was The Buyer," says a portfolio manager who was not authorized by his firm to speak for attribution. Cioffi's easygoing manner made him popular with investors, the bankers who lent his funds money, and the charities he supported.

The funds' voracious buying of lightly traded bonds drove down their yields, meaning Cioffi's team had to buy more and more of them to boost returns. That meant more borrowing. Banks such as Merrill Lynch (MER), Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) lent the funds at least $14 billion all told. Cioffi also used a type of short-term debt to borrow billions more; in some cases he managed to buy $60 worth of securities for every $1 of investors' money. But he made a critical trade-off: For lower interest rates, he gave lenders the right to demand immediate repayment.

For a while the strategy worked, and the fund became a hit. Cioffi started dabbling in fashionable hedge fund manager accoutrements, weighing a partnership stake in a Gulfstream jet and even getting into the movie business. In 2006, he was executive producer of the indie film Just Like My Son, starring Rosie Perez.

The final blow for the Enhanced fund (one of the hedge funds) came when Barclays told Bear it wanted out, according to the bankruptcy filings. The timing of the redemption notice isn't clear. Barclays declined to comment on the relationship, except to say its losses were minimal.

End game

In March 2008, Bear Stearns, the nation’s fifth largest investment banking firm,
was battered by what its officials described as a sudden liquidity squeeze related to
its large exposure to devalued mortgage-backed securities.

On March 14, the Federal Reserve System announced that it would provide Bear Stearns with an unprecedented short-term loan.

On March 16, a major commercial bank, JP Morgan Chase, agreed to buy Bear Stearns in an exchange of stock shares for about 1.5% of its share price of a year earlier, a price that translated to $2/share. To help facilitate the deal, the Federal Reserve agreed to provide special financing in connection with the transaction for up to $30 billion of Bear Stearns’s less liquid assets.

Bear Stearns and JP Morgan renegotiated the terms of the deal: JP Morgan will purchase 95 million newly issued shares of Bear’s common stock at $10/share in a stock exchange. In response to the changed deal conditions, the Fed altered the terms of its financial involvement: it got JP Morgan to agree to absorb the first $1 billion in losses if the collateral provided by Bear for a loan proves to be worth less than Bear Stearn’s original claims. Instead of its original agreement to absorb up $30 billion, the Fed will now be responsible for up to $29 billion.


$3.2 Billion Move by Bear Stearns to Rescue Fund, 23 June 2007,New York Times,

Report to US Congress - Bear Stearns: Crisis and “Rescue” for a Major Provider
of Mortgage-Related Products. Download from

Investment Banks M&A Advisor Deals Q1 2008

Rank Adviser No. of deals

1 Goldman, Sachs & Co. 73
2 Lehman Brothers Inc. 33
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. 61
3 Citigroup Inc. 65
4 Credit Suisse Group 55
5 Deutsche Bank AG 48
6 Morgan Stanley 56
7 Merrill Lynch & Co. 63
8 UBS AG 73
9 Blackstone Group LP 7
10 Moelis & Co. 3
11 Rothschild Inc. 50
12 Lazard 37
13 Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP 14
14 China International Capital Corp. 7
15 Ernst & Young 35
16 William Blair & Co. 8
17 Macquarie Group 18
18 Wachovia 19
19 Calyon 4

Rank is based on total value of deals and not on number of deals

World's largest banks 2007 - Top 20 global

Euromoney ranking by shareholder equity

1 Bank Of America Corporation
2 Citigroup Inc
3 JP Morgan Chase & Co.
5 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
6 Royal Bank Of Scotland Group
7 ING Groep NV
8 Crédit Agricole
9 Wachovia Corporation
10 BNP Paribas
11 Banco Santander SA
12 Industrial & Commercial Bank Of China - ICBC
13 Barclays Plc
14 Unicredito Italiano Spa
15 Wells Fargo & Company
16 Deutsche Bank AG
17 Bank Of China Limited
18 China Construction Bank Corporation
19 Mizuho Financial Group

Deutsche Bank - Management of Sub Prime Fallout

July 2008

Deutsche bank announced $3.6 billion of fresh writedowns on 31st July 2008, taking its bill from the financial crisis beyond $11 billion and putting among the top ten global casualities of the turmoil.

The Economic Times, Mumbai, 1st August 2008

Goldman Sachs - Lucky to Survive the Sub Prime Crisis

Goldman Sachs had its problems with hedgefunds. But as a corporate it survived the subprime crisis without reporting any overloss so far.

Its trades on short side helped it to make profits.

Citi Group - Management of Sub Prime Fallout 2007-08

Citi to Cut 17,000 Jobs in Broad Overhaul
April 11, 2007,

The company announced plans to lay off more than 17,000 workers, with the first pink slips coming this week. About 9,500 jobs will be moved to locations overseas or around the United States where the cost of doing business is lower, from more expensive locations like London, Hong Kong, and New York, where the company’s headquarters are based.

Roughly 8 percent of Citigroup’s 327,000 workers, from entry-level consumer bankers to senior executives in the investment bank, will be affected by the restructuring. All five of its major business divisions will face cuts.

About 1,600 jobs will be eliminated in New York City, where Citigroup currently has about 27,000 employees.

November 26, 2007,

Citi May Start New Round of Layoffs

CNBC reported Monday morning citing unnamed sources, that no exact number was set, though some jobs were already being cut. CNBC’s Charles Gasparino said the layoffs could be between 17,000 and 45,000.

Any cuts would be on top of the 17,000 Citi announced earlier this year, which amounted to about 5 percent of the bank’s workforce.


July 2008

Citygroup may have to write down the value of collateralized debt obligations by $8 billion in Q3 based on Merrill Lynch deal.

Merrill sold its holding for 22 cents on the dollar, while Citi currently values the securities at 53 cents.

Citigroup Deal Ends Its SIV Saga
November 19, 2008,

Citigroup said Wednesday that it would buy about $17.4 billion in assets from structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, that were affiliated with Citi.

Citi was a pioneer in the business of SIVs, which once made lots of money by issuing short-term notes to invest in longer-term securities with higher yields. They traditionally resided off the balance sheets of the banks that created and advised them.

Citigroup to Liquidate Hedge Fund, Report Says
November 19, 2008,

Citigroup is liquidating its Corporate Special Opportunities hedge fund after it lost 53 percent of its value last month, The Financial Times reported.

The C.S.O. fund managed almost $4.2 billion at its peak and has a net asset value of about $58 million and debt of about $880 million, the report said, citing investors.

Merrill Lynch - Management of Sub Prime Fallout

July 2008

Merrill agreed to sell $30.66 billion of collateralized debt obligations for $6.7 billion. The buyer is an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, a Dallas based investment manager.

Merrill will provide financing for about 75% of the purchase price. The financing is secured only by the assets being sold, meaning Merrill would absorb any losses over the CDOs beyond $1.68 billion.

This article will be developed gradually.

Use of Wiki by Investment Bankers

A wiki is a server program that allows users to collaboratively contribute content to a website. Editing is done in a web browser using a user-friendly editing tool not too dissimilar to a stripped-down version of MS-Word. But a wiki is more collaborative. A wiki may contain the writing, edits and additions of many, many users. Any user can edit any other users’ contributions.

The most famous wiki is which is an online encyclopedia authored by many.

Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) is the international investment banking arm of Dresdner Bank. Headquartered in London and Frankfurt with offices all over the world including Sao Paulo, New York and Tokyo, DrKW employs approximately 6,000 people worldwide.

DrKW installed a wiki of their own appropriately called DrKWikipedia which is accessible from the intranet. DrKW installed their first wiki in 1997 to better link their large number of employees across a wide geography of locations. The wiki has since evolved into an enterprise application. The wiki is powered by Socialtext.

the DrKW Global Head of IT JP Rangaswami gave the opinion that the intranet is very important for employee collaboration and also for adhering to legislative securities legislation.

The wiki is used as a communications tool, a collective discussion tool, and as a repository for documents and information. Socialtext has a case study that documents the wiki’s use and success:

“The wiki has changed how team members are working and managing their projects. Before, it was common practice to create a traditional website for each project - with all the attendant problems of version control, multiple authors and HTML editing. Now, the wiki allows everyone in the team to upload information more easily. This encourages more collaboration and transparency through facilitating the sharing of email conversations, small snippets of information and ideas which would otherwise have either been communicated in person (an effective but non-persistent methodology) or have completely fallen through the cracks.

An important role of the wiki is to track project development so that the team and management know what progress is being made on projects regardless of any individual's geographical location. This has raised awareness across the team of what each person is doing, the status of each project, and what actions need to be taken.

DrKW is a global entity, and Socialtext has helped to bridge the many offices together across time zones and cultural divides. Because different cultures react in different ways to different communications media, it has been essential to not only provide a variety of ways for people to communicate, but also create a central intranet area where they can easily share information. Socialtext also enables individuals to edit the intranet without having to wait for a central team to update an HTML page.

JP Rangaswami gave expresed the belief that the true value of Socialtext has yet to emerge.

"Hidden within the wiki is a drive towards creating an internal glossary that will transform life, so if someone doesn't understand something they can look it up and find it defined not by a dictionary but by someone else doing a similar job."

This Wikipedia-style usage will cut down the training time and start-up costs of new hires as it will help them to understand internal and external jargon and terms more easily. It will also simplify the roles of people writing in other locations and languages. English is the language of DrKW at present, but in the future Rangaswami foresees multilingual support.

DrKW recently rolled out to over 4000 users, but it is allowing takeup to develop gradually, providing informal training to encourage rather than enforce usage. Indeed, emergent use is accepted as a valuable part of the spread of wiki culture - one team's first use of the wiki was to organise their coffee rota, which they had previously done by email. Reducing email use even in such a seemingly trivial manner has a positive knock-on effect on users' productivity and ability to manage their workload by reducing the volume of non-essential messages. It also provides an innocuous "practice run" that can facilitate the adoption of similar strategies in situations closer to core aspects of work.

Investment bank job profiles!eipaL?state=showocc&idno=380&pageno=8



The Investment Banking Institute is recognized as the financial education and training leader, offering an accelerated career path for finance professionals and all individuals seeking to enter the investment banking, private equity, or hedge fund industry.

Over the past six years, IBI has trained thousands of professionals who are currently working or have worked with some of the most prestigious Investment Banks on Wall Street. Last year alone (2007) we held over 500 sessions nationwide for more than 1500 live training hours; moreover, our bankers/instructors possess a combined 90 years of I-banking and/or PE experience.

In total, our bankers on staff have led or participated in over $36 Billion of transactions. The result? Training with our bankers allows the effective transfer of skills that you can directly apply when seeking to enter the finance industry or add further value in your existing role.

In addition, IBI has also trained analysts and associates on behalf of a number of NY based financial organizations.

New York
The Helmsley Building
230 Park Avenue


225 Franklin Street


Triangle Plaza
8770 West Bryn Mawr
First Canadian Place
100 King Street West


Urban Towers
222 W. Las Colinas Blvd.


San Francisco
The Spear Tower
1 Market Street


Los Angeles
Continental Grand Plaza
400 Continental Boulevard

Investment Banker

A description for women in

Investment bank analysts and knowledge in economic geography

Wrigley, N., Currah, A.D. and Wood, S.M. (2003) Investment bank analysts and knowledge in economic geography. Environment and Planning A, 35, (3), 381-387. (10.1068/a3638)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Branding is Acqurinig Brainspace

Every business has to invest money in branding. Why? Because branding is creating a recall about the particular product or brand that the business is offering in the brain of the customer whever the customer thinks of the need for the generic product and intends to fulfill the need.

Unless the your product or brand has occupied the space in the brain of the customer, the chance that he will buy your product, when he sees it in the shelf or when a sales man in retail shop recommends it, is low.

So you have to compete for the brain space of the potential customers or users and invest in branding.

Competition for brainspace is as important as competition for shelf space. You need not invest and acquire shelf space if you have not acquired brainspace.

Securities Market Intermediaries also need to compete for brainspace and shelf space.

Importance of Shelf Space

Gaining shelf space is a guiding principle for most business enterprises.

What do we mean by shelves? There are both literal and figurative shelves.

In the conventional world of bricks and mortar, the physical limits on shelf space determine the volume and variety of goods that companies can display and sell at any one time. In every retail venue, the battle is all about who gets to use the most attractive, best-located shelf space. In the real world of grocery stores and other retail spaces, shelf space is finite -- even in the largest Wal-Marts. Only the most powerful vendors get the best space, and their power is defined ultimately by their ability to pull sales through the shelve

But shelf space also exists outside the physical world of supermarkets and shopping malls. There are plenty of examples of jockeying for prime slots on virtual shelves -- including newspaper front pages, magazine ad pages, movie cineplexes, Internet ad banners, and the play-lists of radio stations. All of these are empty grids that must be filled up, and the battle for the best slots at the right price is furious and constant.

The electronic shelf space can be defined as the "real estate found on the computer screen. Almost all hospitality transactions taking place today, except for small country inns in Europe or the United States, employ some form of computer terminal where hotel availability is checked and reserved. For call center reservation agents, travel agents and individuals booking through the Internet, the physical screen, which displays GDN (Global Distribution Network) information, is the location of the virtual shelf space. Controlling electronic shelf space - and the number of "eyes" that view GDN information through one specific portal into this virtual inventory is of utmost importance to the world's leading hospitality and travel companies.

The Battle for Electronic Shelf Space on the Global Distribution Network

Monday, July 7, 2008

Funds are Shifting Prime Brokers in ‘Flight to Quality’

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank appear to have benefited as hedge funds shift their prime-brokerage business in a “flight to quality.”

Goldman’s Securities Services business generated record net revenue of $985 million during its fiscal second quarter. That figure represented a 36 percent increase from a year earlier.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Goldman Sachs Leadership - Praised for Complementary Nature

In the article, THE LEADERSHIP TEAM. By: Miles, Stephen A., Watkins, Michael D., Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Apr2007, Vol. 85, Issue 4, authors argue that top leadership has to complement each other. They give four ways in which persons complement mutually.

They quoted Goldman Sach's practice of co-leaders in their article.

A Commitment to Complementarity at Gldman Sachs

The benefits and challenges of running an organization with leaders who play complementary roles can be seen at Goldman Sachs, where for decades many parts of the business – and sometimes the firm itself – have been headed by teams of two co-leaders.

The practice emerged almost by chance. In 1976, when the senior managing director died, the firm decided to fill his position with two partners and members of the management committee, John Weinberg and John Whitehead, who had worked closely together for years. "As friends, they were able to collaborate in a noncompetitive way," recalls Jonathan Cohen, a Goldman Sachs advisory director who started at the firm in 1969. "It was natural for them to come together." Weinberg and Whitehead ran the firm for eight years, and a precedent was set.

Over time, the notion of co-leadership became ingrained in the firm's culture. Although no formal policy mandates that certain businesses be run by more than one person, when a position opens, Cohen says, "you look over the best people for the job, and often there are two with complementary strengths." The practice has extended to the top. Before leaving to become U.S. treasury secretary in July 2006, chief executive officer Henry Paulson, Jr., worked in a close complementary fashion with then president and chief operating officer Lloyd Blankfein, who is now CEO. Earlier, Paulson headed a three-person team comprising himself and co-presidents and COOs John Thornton and John Thain.

The benefits of such arrangements are several. Co-leadership can act as a restraint on the naturally strong egos found at a top-tier investment bank. It can help assimilate senior hires into the organization's culture by pairing the newcomers with veterans of the firm. It also allows the leadership to be in two or more places at once – something that proved beneficial after the attacks of September 11. At the time of the attacks, Kerr says, Paulson and Thornton were out of the country, but Thain was in New York and could thus oversee efforts to restore order at the firm.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of co-leadership is diversity of thought and talent. Decisions, while they might take slightly longer to reach, often are better because two different minds have been at work on them. Co-leaders can play to their individual strengths. When Paulson and Blankfein worked together, Paulson, who had spent his career building client relationships, was Mr. Outside; Blankfein, who had a background in the technical intricacies of financial instruments, was Mr. Inside. Faced with the succession challenge that is often embedded in such a complementary relationship, Blankfein has had to work to raise his public profile and increase his involvement with clients since becoming CEO.

Weinberg and Whitehead set ground rules for the successful relationship early on, including an agreement that if one person felt very strongly about something, they both would head in that direction.

Such semiformal agreements continue to this day.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Market2Lead, Inc.

Market2Lead, Inc.

Corporate Headquarters
3940 Freedom Circle, Suite 804,
Santa Clara, CA 95054

On-demand marketing automation with the industry's most powerful and comprehensive marketing dashboards...

delivering your single source for marketing truth.

Email Marketing
Marketing Automation
Website Forms/Landing Pages
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Marketing Accountability
Prospect Profiling
Website Analytics
Automated Telemarketing
Event Marketing

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Use of Microsites for Advertising and Acquiring Customers

Merrill Lynch Microsite
Customer: Merrill Lynch
Project: Microsite

For our customer Merrill Lynch, we set up a microsite featuring the newest product range, on OnVista, a well known financial portal site. The microsite includes two rotating wallpapers, one showcasing Merrill Lynch's newest products, the other is a Merril Lynch image wallpaper.


Microsite for DSP Merrill Lynch Super S.I.P.

The Objective

DSP Merrill Lynch Super S.I.P. is a tool that helps consumers save for their financial goals. These goals include saving for retirement, children’s education, marriage, any family obligation etc. For the fund launch and the period of application, the objective was to disseminate info online related to the fund, its features and application forms.

The Solution

We created a microsite for Super SIP where potential investors could download fund information ranging from application forms to calculators & brochures. Investors who wished to be contacted by DSP Merrill Lynch could fill up a form on the site with their details. However the site was created in such a way that an interested investor could get all possible information on the site, download the application form and send it directly to DSP.

This was the only complete source of information of the fund and its benefits online & linked from A flash intro was also created for the DSP Merrill Lynch website to drive traffic. A screensaver was made for employees & partners. Banners on key sites – rediff, economictimes & moneycontrol – reached the core audience of potential investors and linked to the microsite. Mail shots were sent to select registered database.

The Route

The banners were interactive & focused on planning for future expenses for retirement and/ or children’s education. On entering the amount an MBA would cost today, for example, a consumer could find out what the amount would be 10/12/16/21 years from now. It drives home the point of advance planning & how consumers can benefit from Super SIP. The microsite had links to everything from calculators to advertising.

The Results

Over 5.7 Mn impressions were delivered & 1783 unique opt-ins generated through the campaign. The microsite homepage generated over 30,000 page views indicating a good click rate.

About Microsites

You can improve lead-capture and sales-conversion rates by directing your prospective customers to special Web site landing pages instead of regular homepage of your site.

You can enjoy even greater success by directing the customer to microsites—and customizing the homepages and navigation menus of those microsites based on whatever you know about each visitor.

The micros sites can have links to enticing offers such as whitepapers and prerecorded webinars. Microsites can be different and customers are directed to different microsites based on the advertisments they clicked and even based on the web pages on which they clicked the advertisements. You can try to classify a person into HNI or Non HNI based on the online edition of the paper that he is going through and through which he has clicked on your advertisement.