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Stay relevant in a digital world

By Jasper Cox
02 Nov 2020

Finding it hard to keep up with advances in technology these days? Citi's got just the person for you.

Naveed Sultan is to develop and lead a new practice at the bank, which will "advise governments to develop policies to digitise their economies including their financial systems", while also giving guidance to corporates and financial institutions "to transform their businesses and operating models to stay relevant in an increasingly digital world", according to a memo.

That sounds like a daunting task on its own, but he will also "develop approaches and strategies to respond to the structural shifts of globalisation and market transitions".

What's more, he will carry on in his post as head of the treasury and trade solutions business (TTS) at Citi, until a replacement has been appointed.

Also setting up a new team is BNP Paribas, which wants to strengthen its offering in la patrie.

It has formed a unit within its M&A business called Advisory France, to be led by Christophe Jalinot, Marc Walbaum and Philippe-Elie Bacot. In the domestic M&A rankings, it is languishing in sixth place.

The group aims to win market share, help the bank focus on “event-driven situations”, and “promote a positive culture of performance”, according to an internal memo.

BNP Paribas publishes third quarter results on Tuesday, following a number of European banks last week.

Deutsche Bank's investment bankers had something to boast about, as their division made close to €1bn in profit before tax for the second quarter running; an improvement on the second half of last year: a restructuring was announced, when it made next to no profit.

The biggest revenue generator, the fixed income and currency business, churned out €1.8bn, beating analysts' estimates by around a quarter and with a year-on-year increase that surpassed competitors.

Proceeds from equity and debt origination also rose more substantially than at many rivals.

HSBC is at an earlier stage in its reorganisation than Deutsche, and at its results the focus was on increasing the speed of the change.

Chief executive Noel Quinn said that the bank was “moving at pace to adapt our business model to a protracted low interest rate environment", shifting focus from business lines that are sensitive to rates to those that generate fees.

Of investment bank activities, the credit and equity parts of the global markets business were strongest, with credit proceeds more than doubling year-on-year, and equities raising 39% more than last year, helped by the derivatives performance.

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse was reporting results for the first time since forging a new investment bank division.

Fees from equity capital markets tripled. The bank highlighted special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) and said that in the first nine months of the year, it was top of the list of fee generators from Spac IPOs across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Elsewhere, ING has picked Uday Sareen as head of wholesale banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Since 2016 he has been in charge of ING in Australia.

And finally, Peter Estlin, a former lord mayor of the City of London and group financial controller at Barclays, has joined Digital Debt Capital Markets as an adviser. The firm is behind the Agora platform to improve communication and processes from a bond’s issuance to repayment at maturity.

By Jasper Cox
02 Nov 2020