Morning Coffee Jan 19 2012

For Wells Fargo, Banking's a Breeze

By julie steinberg

It's easy to be nonchalant when you're doing well.

Wells Fargo's investment banking and capital markets business is moving up the league tables and Chief Executive John Stumpf "couldn't care less," according to comments he made on an earnings call earlier this week.

The bank thinks of the investment banking unit, which it acquired in 2008 as part of its Wachovia takeover, as "another product, another arrow to have in our quiver." Even so, Stumpf said he's "not driven by league tables around here." Instead, the bank is concentrating on its traditional lending and consumer-driven businesses.

Wells Fargo took the eighth spot in the league tables of investment banking fees for 2011, up from ninth in 2010. It increased its fee market share to 5.1% in 2011, up from 4.2% the year prior.

It's also hiring for the unit. The bank hired 25 investment bankers from Citadel LLC in August. Headcount in capital markets grew 11% in 2011.

"As we grow, we have room" for more bankers, executives said.

Deep Impact (FINS)

Goldman Sachs had only wanted to cut 1,000 jobs in 2011, but ended up being forced to get rid of 2,400. And it's not done yet.

Northern Cuts (Chicago Tribune)

Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp. will eliminate 700 jobs world-wide, its first major layoff initiative in several years. Half of the cuts will take place in Europe.

Stepping Up (Bloomberg)

That was quick. After two of Nomura's top former Lehmanite executives resigned last week, the bank has named Steven Ashley as global head of fixed income and Georges Assi as his deputy.

0 for 0 (Reuters)

Senior investment bankers will have to suffer alongside many junior staff this year when it comes to getting "doughnuts," or zero bonuses.

Mortgage Mavens (Team Hammerhouse)

A new survey finds that nearly a third of mortgage loan originators have been approached by between five and 10 recruiters in the past six months. Not bad for an industry that's still clawing back.

Happily Ever After (DealBook)

Erin Callan, the former chief financial officer at Lehman Brothers who was demoted before the firm declared bankruptcy, has found peace in her private life: She got married late last year.

Explain Yourself (The Globe and Mail)

If you've got a gap in employment on your resume, come up with a way to downplay it in an interview. You want to emphasize you're ready to spring into action.

Buzz Around the Office

Palm Tree Kick (YouTube)

Man v. nature. Man wins.

List of the Day: Common Sense

Here's a list of things you should not expense to your company. All of them appeared on a recent survey of chief financial officers who named the strangest items their employees expensed. Be warned.

1. A teepee.

2. Cosmetic surgery.

3. Hotel charge for viewing adult movies.

(Source: Robert Half)

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