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Fiera Capital to buy Integrated Asset Management; Wells rebuts CEO change report


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Fiera Capital to buy Integrated Asset Management; Wells rebuts CEO change report

Fiera Capital Corp. agreed to acquire Integrated Asset Management Corp. for a total consideration of C$74 million, representing Integrated Asset Management's total enterprise value of C$64 million and C$10 million of adjusted cash. The deal could close in the second quarter.

Wells Fargo & Co. Chair Betsy Duke refuted a media report that said the bank had reached out to Harvey Schwartz, former president and co-COO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to hire him to replace existing CEO Timothy Sloan, Bloomberg News report. The New York Post earlier reported that Wells was in talks with Schwartz and there was one more serious contender for the role whose identity could not be learned immediately. Duke, however, denied the report saying it had not reached out to potential CEO candidates and reiterated the bank's statement of support for Sloan made in September 2018, when the Post reported that Wells' board had approached former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn to replace him.

In regulatory news, Sens. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and John Kennedy, R-La., introduced the Freedom Financing Act, a bill aimed at discouraging large financial institutions from cutting off services to "constitutionally-protected industries that are fully compliant with all laws and statutes." "A small number of banks controlling most of the financial sector could effectively illegalize legal commerce by refusing to finance certain industries or process certain transactions," Cramer said in a press release. The legislation focuses on the firearms, ammunition, and sporting goods industries and exempts financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets.

In litigation news, Securities America Inc. is facing a lawsuit over allegations that it failed to supervise Hector May, a former broker who ran a Ponzi scheme with his daughter Vania May Bell and misappropriated client assets, InvestmentNews reports. The Ponzi scheme resulted in losses of $18 million for the Jamieson family, which started working with May in 2001. The lawsuit also alleges that the broker/dealer disregarded "stark red flags" that would have brought the scheme to light in 2003, when May had pocketed only $750,000 from the plaintiff. May was fired by Securities America in 2018 after a U.S. Justice Department investigation revealed he was involved in stealing client assets.

AriseBank Inc. founder Jared Rice Sr. admitted to scamming $4.2 million from hundreds of investors by falsely claiming that investors would receive Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured accounts and Visa Inc.-branded credit cards if they purchased AriseCoin cryptocurrency, Dallas News reports. Court documents showed that AriseBank was not permitted to do business in Texas, was not insured by the FDIC and did not have a partnership with Visa. Rice pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud.

President Donald Trump is considering appointing Stephen Moore, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, to the Federal Reserve Board, sources told Bloomberg. Moore was an adviser on Trump's campaign and helped draft its economic agenda, and is reportedly a close friend of White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow. Herman Cain, who ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, may also be considered for the Fed board, according to the report.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: 3 central banks keep rates steady; Anbang selects buyer for wealth units

Europe: EU tables short Brexit delay; Swedbank to boost AML controls; Deutsche guidance

Middle East & Africa: Dubai payments firm to change name; Saudi regulator approves SABB-Alawwal merger

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Possible Wells Fargo deal could extend Principal's reach in 401(k) market: If Principal Financial Group finalizes a deal to acquire Wells Fargo's retirement plan services unit, the transaction could also bring the added scale that Principal executives have hinted the company has been in pursuit of for several months now.

Mechanics Bank looks to ramp up lending across California with Rabobank purchase: Mechanics Bank plans to use the additional scale from its acquisition of Rabobank to increase lending, particularly in indirect auto.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, Hang Seng rose 0.14% to 29,113.36, while the Nikkei 225 gained 0.09% to 21,627.34.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.83% to 7,294.13, and the Euronext 100 decreased 0.99% to 1,037.66.

On the macro front

The PMI Composite FLASH, the Existing Home Sales report, the Wholesale Trade report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report and the Treasury Budget is due out 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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