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JPMorgan to restructure wealth management biz; NYSE revises direct listing plans


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JPMorgan to restructure wealth management biz; NYSE revises direct listing plans

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is restructuring its wealth management businesses, a move that will enable the banking giant to compete with rivals like Morgan Stanley, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a company memo. The new unit will be headed by Kristin Lemkau, currently the bank's chief marketing officer. The bank's plans will ensure JPMorgan has one set of operations for clients with up to $25 million in assets. JPMorgan's private bank for ultrawealthy clients will be kept separate, according to the report.

Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings Inc. will acquire U.S.-based boutique investment banking company Greentech Capital Advisors LP. Upon completion of the acquisition, Greentech Capital Advisors will be known as Nomura Greentech and form part of the group's Americas investment banking franchise. The deal is expected to be completed by March 31, 2020.

Tallahassee, Fla.-based Capital City Bank agreed to acquire 51% of Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Brand Mortgage Group LLC. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, following which BrandMortgage's services will be offered under the name Capital City Home Loans.

New Orleans-based Liberty Bank and Trust Co. agreed to acquire Louisville, Ky.-based Louisville Development Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Metro Bank. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2020. Liberty Financial Services Inc. is the holding company for Liberty Bank and Trust

New York-based U.S. electronic market maker GTS Securities LLC entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of British lender Barclays PLC's equities automated options trading unit for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. As part of the transaction, roughly 40 Barclays personnel will become full-time employees at GTS.

The U.S. Federal Reserve terminated its supervisory letter dated May 11, 2015, against The Bancorp Inc. that barred the company from paying dividends without prior approval. The letter required the Fed's preapproval for the company's quarterly payments on its trust preferred securities, the payment of any potential future dividends on the company's common stock and the issuance of debt.

The New York Stock Exchange has submitted revised direct listing plans for regulatory review after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the exchange's original plans. The revised rule changes, if approved, would allow a broader universe of companies to go public through direct listing while raising capital in the process. Direct listings are now widely considered as a cheaper and faster way to go public than the IPO.

Robinhood Markets Inc. has launched its cash management feature to a first set of users, according to the firm's website. The launch comes after Robinhood backtracked on its initial announcement that it would roll out a checking and savings account backed by the Securities Investor Protection Corp., but the SIPC does not protect cash held for anything other than purchasing securities. The cash management feature offers a 1.8% annual percentage yield on customers' uninvested cash.

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath Tarbert warned that the failure to transition from the London Interbank Offered Rate presents a risk to individual firms and the global financial system. Tarbert also flagged the threat of "zombie LIBOR," and said that his agency is monitoring discussions and proposals that would prevent the negative effects of a non-representative LIBOR.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., wrote a letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Jelena McWilliams, requesting them to provide a public comment period of no less than 120 days to allow thorough review of their proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act.

At the Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference, E*TRADE Financial Corp. CEO Michael Pizzi said the firm's management was just as surprised as other industry participants by Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade's deal announcement. "Bigger is not always better," Pizzi said, adding that he remains optimistic about opportunities for E*TRADE in light of the industry's latest consolidation and that the company remains open to a possible buyout.

During a Senate Banking Committee oversight hearing, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said his agency is investigating letters used to support rules that would alter certain elements of the corporate governance processes related to proxy advisory firms and shareholder proposals. Clayton voted for the proposed changes in rules at a Nov 5. SEC meeting. However, Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Tina Smith, D-Minn., expressed their concern that Clayton had based his decision on letters that were linked with corporate advocacy groups.

Bills that would prevent mandatory arbitration agreements in client contracts of brokers and investment advisers have been introduced in both the House and the Senate, InvestmentNews reports. However, the pieces of legislation still haven't garnered Republican support.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Malaysia's BIMB eyes restructuring; APRA keeps bank buffers at 0%

Europe: UK challenger banks seek rule easing; Credit Suisse faces new spying claim

Middle East & Africa: Israel to hold 3rd election; IMF, Ethiopia reach preliminary agreement on loan

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

E*TRADE again at a crossroads as potential acquirers ink merge: After the online brokerage industry's largest deal yet, E*TRADE Financial again faces a choice: go at it alone or seek a buyer.

Markets cheer Independent Bank-Texas Capital deal despite integration risk: Investors have pushed up stock prices following recent regional bank mergers of equals, and the latest deal is no exception despite a heightened level of integration risk.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 1.31% to 26,994.14, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.14% to 23,424.81.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased by 0.49% to 7,251.27, and the Euronext 100 increased by 0.04% to 1,123.59.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the PPI-FD report, EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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