In a year that saw Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein go through another series of capital market re-organisations, the bank still managed to shine. Indeed, it was voted most improved bank in EuroWeek's 2005 Borrowers' Poll. Hélène Durand looks at the bank's progress in areas such as emerging markets, supranational/sovereign/agencies and covered bonds.
An area where Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein built on its strengths last year was without question its emerging market franchise. DrKW executed transactions throughout emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa; its business not only included repeat mandates from issuers, but also newcomers to the market.
The bank acted as sole lead manager on Moscow Bank for Reconstruction and Development's (MBRD) $150m 2008 Eurobond in February 2005. The transaction achieved the lowest coupon ever on a three year deal for Russian bank rated B1/B (Moody's/Fitch), paying 8.625%.
DrKW was also involved in Nurbank's $150m three year bond, which achieved international distribution for the Kazakh issuer and was its debut Eurobond transaction.
A $1bn Eurobond for Gazprombank was another highlight, attracting $6.5bn of demand from 375 different accounts and sized at the higher end of $750m-$1bn expectations. The issuer praised DrKW's capabilities saying: "We believe that the resounding success of the issue is evidence of the high level of confidence which international investors have in Gazprombank and is testament to the strong capabilities of DrKW."
In the sovereigns/supranational/agency arena, DrKW led a number of the key transactions of 2005, including the 30 year bond for the Kingdom of Spain. The deal was the longest issue for the kingdom and achieved its tightest spread against Germany at 3bp over on a curve adjusted basis. The Eu6bn trade attracted 60 new investors to the credit.
The Eu3bn 15 year issue for the Republic of Poland was the largest and longest trade for the issuer to date, and was subsequently increased twice to Eu5.25bn, achieving the lowest coupon for Poland on a 10 year plus issue.
DrKW also helped lead Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg Förderbank's (L-Bank) inaugural global dollar issue, which turned out to be L-Bank's largest dollar transaction to date at $1.25bn. The diverse placement achieved was another plus with 41% going to US investors and 46% going to Asia.
One head of funding at a frequent issuer who voted for DrKW said: "There have been some changes in personnel in the origination team and the new person is extremely committed. We now have frequent contacts and information flows.
"Furthermore, they have improved in our internal league tables when it comes to the delivery of money and have come up with new ideas for our funding. Their consistency means that they are the most improved in relation to other banks."
In the covered bond market, DrKW improved on its previous years' achievements by lead managing a number of firsts for an industry which is becoming increasingly important for the fixed income markets.
The biggest developments included the first covered bond backed by social housing assets for HBOS, the first building society covered bond for Nationwide, as well as the first Nordic region jumbo covered bond for Sampo.
DrKW also played a key role in the development of the long end of the covered bond market. The bank was joint bookrunner on La Caixa's February 2025 Eu2.5bn deal. An order book of Eu3.5bn was generated within a day allowing for a pricing at 10bp over mid-swaps and an increase of the transaction to Eu2.5bn. Also of note was TdA 6, which was the first 20 year structured deal and provided 20 year funding for eight spanish regional savings banks.
These advances were made despite the fact that 2005 was an eventful year for DrKW as far as the running of its capital markets activities was concerned. Indeed, DrKW reshuffled its fixed income business in October 2005, creating a primary rates group and a credit flow products group, respectively headed by Ian Platt/Pierre Blandin and Henry Nevstad as of January 2006.
Nevstad took Sean Park's position, with Park moving to head the digital markets initiative for the bank. Malcom Perry joined the bank from JP Morgan in March 2005 as head of fixed income, reporting to Steve Bellotti who heads up the bank's capital markets efforts.
Of note was also the departure of Andrew Pisker, DrKW's chief executive, who left the bank in November 2005 as Allianz announced that DrKW was to be integrated with Dresdner's corporate banking division. Stefan Jentzsch, who now heads the corporate and investment banking divisions, will hope that the integration bears fruit in 2006. The question now is whether having being voted most improved bank, DrKW can take the crown of most impressive bank from Citigroup in 2006.
"During 2005 we focused our fixed income efforts in areas where DrKW has clear client and product strengths," says Perry. "Leverage finance, emerging markets and the core European franchise are where we are strongest and this focus is giving us excellent results. It is very encouraging to have these positive developments recognised by our clients and other borrowers in the capital markets."