Morning Coffee Apr 29 2011

Evercore Delights, Nomura Disappoints

By kyle stock

Another day, another set of results in the zero-sum game of i-banking.

The winners Thursday were Deutsche and Evercore. The loser was Nomura. And the results had everything to do with each other.

Deutsche, a global giant, kept its ranks of i-bankers stable in the first quarter and the team managed to squeeze out a slight revenue gain. Coupled with some healthy asset management returns, the firm topped expectations.

Meanwhile, Evercore, with only about 610 employees, grabbed a spot at the table of some of the biggest deals of the year and had a blowout quarter. Year-to-date, Evercore's has advised on $66.9 billion worth of U.S. M&A deals, up from $4.2 billion in the year-earlier period, according to DealJournal's scorecard.

Evercore's gain is someone else's loss. And in this case, Nomura seems to be on the disappointing end of that equation. The Japanese bank has confidently (and expensively) built up a modest U.S. braintrust. But the window of opportunity that it had here in the wake of the crisis seems to have been filled up by other small, scrappy teams of bankers (read: Evercore & co.).

Nomura, however, showed no sign of retreat in its annual results presentation, according to an FT report. And a headhunter I met with this week said the firm is still turning heads with the talent it is picking up on Wall Street. In short, keep an eye on those league tables.

Bullish BEN (WSJ)

Franklin Resources, the California-based mutual fund giant, added 136 workers in the first quarter, growing its staff to 8,125. It also topped analyst expectations with a 41% profit jump.

Thundering Thiel (WSJ)

John Thiel, BofA's new wealth management head, started with the company 20 years ago as a financial advisor in Tampa, Fla.

Jobless Surprise (WSJ)

Initial jobless claims jumped to a three-month high. And on a more depressing note, about one million people burned through their unemployment benefits in the past year and still didn't get back in the saddle.

...But on the Bright Side (WSJ)

Small businesses have added 188,000 jobs, on average, each month this year. That kind of hiring tends to be a leading indicator for growth at bigger companies.

Meanwhile... (WSJ)

Unemployment in Germany hit a 19-year low, while the Spanish jobless rate is expected to keep climbing today. This is why it is tough to work at the ECB.

Trading Like It's 2007 (Bloomberg)

Citadel LLC has snagged two former executives from Knight Capital Group to start a quant-trading operation. The duo will work with groups across the firm dabbling in a wide range of asset classes.

Spendy Cleanup (Bloomberg)

Bryan Marsal, the restructuring guru running point on the Lehman wind-down, billed $850 an hour in December. That would equate to a cool $1.8 million if he put in a full year of 40-hour weeks.

In-House Ownership (FT)

Forget IPOs. Transferring ownership to employees builds loyalty, and as a result, strong returns. The partnership model of old Wall Street is paying off for U.K. retailers and paper-makers.

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