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JPMorgan's Bear Stearns deal pays off; Santander to challenge fintechs in 2020

Eleven years after JPMorgan Chase & Co. purchased Bear Stearns for $10 per share, the deal finally breaks even, with CEO Jamie Dimon's stake crossing $1 billion for the first time — not including options, other restricted shares and purchases, The Wall Street Journal reports. As a result, JPMorgan's stock value has hit an all-time high, beating the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index, the report said.

In an interview with American Banker, Santander Holdings USA Inc. CEO Timothy Wennes elaborated on the firm's growth plans, which included steps to challenge financial technology companies and building its commercial lending business. As part of the plans, Santander will launch an unsecured consumer loan in early 2020 and roll out a national consumer deposit gathering platform. In addition, Wennes emphasized keeping risk management a priority and expanding its commercial real estate business in "both the middle market and mid-corporate space."

Speaking to investment professionals in New York, Invesco Ltd. CEO Martin Flanagan flagged concerns over the future of the asset-management industry, as clients around the world are increasingly using fewer money managers, the Financial Times reports. "[T]hat just changes the landscape like we've never seen before," Flanagan said. Specific to Invesco, along with the industry-related pressures, acquisition of New York-based OppenheimerFunds Inc. led clients pull back from one of its main investment strategies, making it the worst-selling fund manager globally in 2019, the report said. The group's funds lost more than $1 billion a week over the past year.

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FIG i-bank deals in 2019 will remake league tables in 2020: Several investment banks focused on financial institutions agreed to sell in 2019, and the transactions should reshape future M&A league tables, especially in the depository sector. Three of 2019's announced targets — Sandler O'Neill & Partners, FIG Partners and Banks Street Partners — finished among the top 15 bank and thrift M&A advisers by deal volume in 2018.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.60% to 23,924.92. (The Hang Seng was closed.)

Most European markets are closed Dec. 26.

On the macro front

U.S. jobless claims and the U.S. Fed balance sheet and money supply are 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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