JPMorgan Retains Fee Crown Despite Equity Wobbles

30 June, 2011

JPMorgan extended its grip on the global investment banking fee pool in the first half, even as income from bond deals, one of its top businesses, slumped in the second quarter and pressure from rivals grew.

The U.S. bank lost ground in key areas such as equity capital markets (ECM), with its haul of fees from listings slipping further in Europe and Asia after a decline in 2010, data from Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting showed.

This failed to dent JPMorgan’s comfortable lead over peers overall, as it held on to its top spot in U.S. ECM deals and took home a bigger chunk of capital markets and advisory fees than this time last year.

The pool of income from these types of deals rose 17.5 per cent to $42.4 billion compared with the first half of 2010, the data showed, a promising start after fees for all of last year were the highest since 2007.

However much of this boost came from the early part of 2011.

Fees in the second quarter were down 6 percent on the first three months of the year, dragged down by a 15 per cent drop in debt capital markets (DCM) income.

Other businesses such as mergers and acquisitions also suffered as economic woes in Europe and the fallout from political turmoil in the Middle East cast a shadow over new deals.

It’s a slowdown many banks, especially those that are dominant in European markets, fear will impact earnings for the quarter.

Top Ranked

JPMorgan, whose investment bank is run by Jes Staley, was top ranked bank for global DCM fees. But U.S. rival Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which improved its market share in the United States, knocked it from the number one spot in ECM, also causing other peers such as Morgan Stanley to slide.

None fell as noticeably as JPMorgan did in the European ECM fee rankings, however, where it dropped from first place this time last year to sixth.

Along with some rivals, JPMorgan was on a slew of deals that were postponed after equity markets hit a rough patch.

It also failed to grab a lead on the biggest initial public offering of the year so far, that of commodities trader Glencore.

This did not however impact Goldman Sachs, which also missed out on the Glencore mandate but leapfrogged other banks in the European ECM hierarchy to grab the top spot, up from a number four ranking this time last year.

Other rivals are also turning the screws on JPMorgan in Europe, most noticeably Deutsche Bank, which took the biggest haul of investment banking fees in the region and knocked the U.S. bank into second place.

Deutsche’s investment bank chief Anshu Jain recently laid out his ambitions to push the German lender into at least the top five rankings in every market in which it operates — in his eyes, the only way for a investment bank to break even and survive in the new world of post-crisis regulation.

Deutsche Bank has crept up the global fee ranks in various markets this year, including DCM.

But the Americas still makes up a vastly higher chunk of the fee pool than other regions, with activity in the United States alone making up 45 percent of global fees this year. JPMorgan is top or second-ranked bank in key markets there.

In Asia, no bank has so far this year managed to oust Switzerland’s UBS from the top fee spot.

It held on to its lead despite losing out to Goldman Sachs in ECM, still one of the most-hotly contested markets in the region even though a slowdown looms.

 


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JPMorgan Retains Fee Crown Despite Equity Wobbles

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