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Insurer Travelers profit falls on winter storm costs
  + stars: | 2023-01-24 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
Jan 24 (Reuters) - Property and casualty insurer Travelers Companies Inc (TRV.N) reported a 37% fall in quarterly profit on Tuesday, hurt by losses related to a winter storm that swept across the United States and Canada in the last week of 2022. The winter storm pushed up the insurer's catastrophe losses net of reinsurance to $459 million from $36 million last year. A dangerously frigid Arctic air mass gripped a vast expanse of the United States in late December, bringing floods, power outages, mudslides, evacuations and road closures. Travelers' profit was also hit by a fall in net investment income to $625 million from $743 million a year earlier. A ratio below 100% means the insurer earned more in premiums than it paid out in claims.
Rising interest rates roiled markets last year and global investment banking revenue sank more than 50% from a year-earlier quarter, according to data from analytics firm Dealogic. SHARPLY LOWERAcross the board, investment banking fees were sharply lower. Morgan Stanley's revenue from investment banking business fell 49% in the fourth quarter while Goldman Sachs's investment banking fees fell 48%. JPMorgan's investment banking unit saw its revenue down 57%, Citigroup Inc's (C.N) investment banking revenue plunged 58% while Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) investment banking fees more than halved. Strength in trading helped offset a slump in investment banking, while interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve helped income.
"The consumers are spending, their wages are growing and frankly, there's still a lot of stimulus ... Social Security payments are going up at a high rate," Moynihan told Reuters. "Things like that are going to add more fuel that they can use to spend," he added. Moynihan said that for the first time in a long time deposits had come down a little bit for the industry. (For daily Davos updates in your inbox sign up for the Reuters Daily Briefing here.) Reporting by Lananh Nguyen in Davos and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Niket Nishant Editing by Mark PotterOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) on Tuesday reported a bigger-than-expected 69% drop in fourth-quarter profit as it struggled with a slump in dealmaking and weakness in its wealth management business. Goldman is also curbing its consumer banking ambitions as Chief Executive Officer David Solomon refocuses the bank's resources to strengthen its core businesses such as investment banking and trading. Goldman's investment banking fees fell 48% in the latest quarter, while revenue from its asset and wealth management unit dropped 27% due to lower revenue from equity and debt investments. The bank reported a profit of $1.19 billion, or $3.32 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, missing the Street estimate of $5.48, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Fixed income, currency and commodities trading revenue was up 44%, while revenue from equities trading fell 5%.
REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo/File PhotoNEW YORK, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street's biggest banks stockpiled more rainy-day funds to prepare for a possible recession ahead and reported weak investment banking results, but said consumers remained healthy and higher rates boosted profits. Strength in trading helped offset a slump in investment banking, while interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve helped income. However, Citigroup Inc (C.N) reported a 21% fall in profits with investment banking taking a hit. Global investment banking revenue sank to $15.3 billion in the fourth quarter, down more than 50% from a year-earlier quarter, according to data from Dealogic. Bank of America's investment banking fees more than halved in the quarter.
Wells Fargo profit falls 50% on higher reserves, costs
  + stars: | 2023-01-13 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +3 min
Jan 13 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) on Friday reported a 50% decline in profit for the fourth quarter as the bank racked up more than $3 billion in costs related to a fake accounts scandal and boosted loan loss reserves for a potential economic slowdown. Provision for credit losses were $957 million in the quarter, compared with a $452 million release a year earlier. Provision for credit losses in the quarter included a $397 million increase in the allowance for credit losses primarily reflecting loan growth, as well as a less favorable economic environment, the bank said. Higher borrowing costs have also softened demand for mortgages and car loans, crimping banks' revenues. As part of his turnaround plan, Scharf aims to cut costs, scale back Wells Fargo's huge mortgage business and expand its investment banking business.
Insurers were already reluctant to underwrite asset and directors and officers (D&O) protection policies for crypto companies because of scant market regulation and the volatile prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Specialists in the Lloyd's of London (SOLYD.UL) and Bermuda insurance markets are requiring more transparency from crypto companies about their exposure to FTX. Exclusions may act as a failsafe for insurers, and will make it even more difficult for companies that are seeking coverage, insurers and brokers said. Crypto firms with financial exposure to FTX include Binance, a crypto exchange, and Genesis, a crypto lender, neither of which responded to e-mails seeking comment. The FTX collapse will also likely lead to a rise in insurance rates, especially in the U.S. D&O market, insurers said.
Goldman Sachs to cut thousands of employees
  + stars: | 2022-12-16 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: 1 min
NEW YORK, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is planning to cut a couple of thousand employees to navigate a difficult economic environment, a source familiar with the move said. The Wall Street bank had 49,100 employees at the end of the third quarter this year, after adding significant numbers of staff during the pandemic. Headcount will remain above pre-pandemic levels, which stood at 38,300 at the end of 2019, the source said. News platform Semafor earlier reported on Friday that Goldman Sachs Group will lay off up to 4,000 people as the Wall Street bank struggles to meet profitability targets, citing people familiar with the matter. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
The layoffs are the latest sign that cuts are accelerating across Wall Street as dealmaking dries up. Goldman Sachs had 49,100 employees at the end of the third quarter after adding significant numbers of staff during the pandemic. The bank is weighing a sharp cut to the annual bonus pool this year, a separate source familiar with the matter said. Goldman Sachs declined to comment. The investment bank had first warned in July that it might slow hiring and cut expenses.
Companies FTX Japan KK FollowDec 16 (Reuters) - FTX and its affiliated debtors said on Friday the company had filed a motion with the Bankruptcy Court seeking approval of bidding procedures to sell four businesses. Debtors of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange intend to conduct auctions for Embed, LedgerX, FTX Japan and FTX Europe businesses, according to the statement. The move comes after FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested on fraud charges on Monday. FTX filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware in November after traders pulled $6 billion from the platform in three days and rival exchange Binance abandoned a rescue deal. Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra EluriOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The effort, known as the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative, was launched in late 2020 to encourage fund firms to reach net zero emission targets by 2050 and limit the rise in global temperatures. As of Nov. 9, NZAM counted 291 signatories representing some $66 trillion in assets under management. As recently as May Vanguard was touting commitments it had made in line with NZAM's goals. Vanguard said the change "will not affect our commitment to helping our investors navigate the risks that climate change can pose to their long-term returns." "Vanguard was never serious about implementing its net zero commitment" Cuvelier said in a statement.
Lazard CEO warns of more Wall Street layoffs
  + stars: | 2022-12-07 | by ( Manya Saini | ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +2 min
[1/2] The Charging Bull or Wall Street Bull is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 16, 2019. Rivals Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) have also culled some staff. Elsewhere on Wall Street, BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), the world's largest asset manager, has also frozen hiring except in critical roles. "When I talk to our clients, they sound extremely cautious," Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told investors Tuesday. Reporting by Manya Saini and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Lananh Nguyen in New York; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Lananh Nguyen and Anna DriverOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Dec 7 (Reuters) - Wall Street banks are adjusting to a more sluggish economic environment by laying off staff even as they compete to retain and recruit top talent, Kenneth Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N), told investors at a conference Wednesday. "Reality is starting to set in," said Jacobs, who was speaking generally about job cuts that were being reported across the financial industry. Reporting by Lananh Nguyen in New York and Manya Saini and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra EluriOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
U.S banks warn of recession risk, inflation hurting consumers
  + stars: | 2022-12-06 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
NEW YORK, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The biggest U.S. banks are bracing for a worsening economy next year as inflation threatens consumer demand, according to executives Tuesday. "Those things might very well derail the economy and cause this mild to hard recession that people are worried about," he said. "Economic growth is slowing,” Goldman Sachs' chief executive David Solomon said. In banking, the job market remains "surprisingly tight" and competition for talent is "as tough as ever," he said. Reporting by Lananh Nguyen and Saeed Azhar in New York and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Lananh Nguyen and Chizu NomiyamaOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
NEW YORK, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The biggest U.S. banks are bracing for a worsening economy next year as inflation threatens consumer demand, according to executives Tuesday. "Those things might very well derail the economy and cause this mild to hard recession that people are worried about," he said. Consumers have $1.5 trillion in excess savings from pandemic stimulus programs, but it may run out some time in mid-2023, he told CNBC. Major banks' shares fell sharply on the day after a lineup of top bankers outlined the risks for the economy. "Economic growth is slowing," Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said at the same conference.
Dec 1 (Reuters) - London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSEG.L) Chief Executive David Schwimmer said on Thursday that large spikes in volume associated with algorithmic trading have exacerbated recent market volatility, exposing weaknesses in the global market infrastructure. At the onset of the COVID pandemic in March 2020, some banks reached out to LSEG, asking it to close its markets for a day or two so they could catch up with post-trade processing, he said. Another "weak spot" in global markets is in the private equity and debt markets, which have grown quickly in recent years, while using lots of leverage, but with very little transparency, he said. "A lot of people are sort of wondering and watching, how does that play out as rates continue to go up," he said. Reporting by Peter Thal Larsen and John McCrank in New York and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru Editing by Matthew LewisOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The volatility and market uncertainty have hit the initial offerings market hard, driving down proceeds by 93% this year, Lynn Martin, president of the New York Stock Exchange said on Wednesday. "There is a lot of uncertainty and there's a lot of different forces that are impacting markets," said Martin during an interview at the Reuters NEXT conference. Martin said companies "very much want to go public," but they are just all waiting for the volatility in the market to calm down. She also spoke about the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, pointing out FTX lacked a central counterparty for clearing its trades, which is why their bankruptcy is "a bit murky." "The FTX situation may have added a layer of complexity to to the crypto markets in general," Martin said.
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationNov 29 (Reuters) - Lawyers for BlockFi, the first direct casualty of crypto exchange FTX's collapse, made their initial appearance in U.S. bankruptcy court on Tuesday, emphasizing that the U.S. cryptocurrency lender was "the antithesis of FTX." Sussberg went to great lengths to distance BlockFi from FTX, saying the company did not face the myriad issues apparently plaguing FTX. Sussberg said BlockFi also intends to seek a court ruling allowing customers in the BlockFi Wallet program to withdraw their funds during the bankruptcy case if they wish. "If it's in your wallet, it stays in your wallet," Sussberg said. Its Chapter 11 plan envisages that BlockFi Wallet customers would be paid back in full and other account holders and creditors would receive a mixture of cryptocurrency, cash, and new equity shares.
Many in the art and insurance world, however, say it may be only be a matter of time before art works are vandalised, especially if protests spread beyond climate activism. The art insurance market globally earns around $750 million in premiums. PRESSURE ON PREMIUMSLosses and levels of insurance availability tend to dictate insurance premiums. Commercial museums and galleries, however, buy art insurance, and its use is also more prevalent among larger museums in the United States than in Europe. While five insurers contacted by Reuters said they were not yet factoring climate attacks into premiums, some artists say they already face increased costs.
He is seeking the remainder from other funds, including current investors in FTX such as venture capital fund Sequoia Capital, the source added. Tether's chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, tweeted that it had "no plans to invest in or lend assets to FTX." FTX also got hit by the Bahamas Securities Commission, where the company is based, freezing assets of FTX Digital Markets "and related parties". In a tweet, FTX said it had reached a deal with Tron to establish a special facility that would allow clients to swap some crypto assets from FTX to external wallets. Bankman-Fried told investors that Alameda owes FTX about $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Nov 1 (Reuters) - Insurer American International Group Inc (AIG.N) on Tuesday reported a more than 39% decline in quarterly profit as investment income fell by more than $1 billion and losses from Hurricane Ian pushed up catastrophe bills. read moreAIG - one of the world's biggest commercial insurers - reported $600 million of catastrophe losses in the quarter, out of which about $450 million was attributable to Hurricane Ian, the insurer said. Total consolidated net investment income fell 28% to $2.7 billion, hurt mainly by lower alternative investment income. The metric excludes catastrophe losses, and a ratio below 100 signifies that the insurer earns more from premiums than it pays out in claims. read moreReporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini GanguliOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Insurance for humanitarian workers, journalists, engineers and others heading to Ukraine is now more expensive and harder to organise than during the Iraq war. The United Nations and other aid organisations in Ukraine said last week that the missile attacks had disrupted their humanitarian work. A shortage of providers is also adding to insurance costs, sources said, pointing in particular to reluctance among some U.S. insurers to offer Ukraine cover. AIG (AIG.N), which declined to comment, was drawing up broad exclusion clauses for Russia and Ukraine, Reuters reported earlier this year. ($1 = 1.0206 euros)Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterEditing by John O'Donnell and Kirsten DonovanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
A U.S. flag is seen in a flooded rural area after Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction in Arcadia, Florida, U.S., October 4, 2022. REUTERS/Marco BelloOct 19 (Reuters) - Property and casualty insurer Travelers Companies Inc (TRV.N) reported a 20% fall in quarterly profit on Wednesday, hurt by hurricane-related claims and lower returns on its investments. Insurers are bracing for a hit of up to $57 billion from Hurricane Ian in Florida and South Carolina, risk modeling firm Verisk said earlier this month. The insurance industry also faces hefty claims from the Ukraine crisis and greater uncertainty brought on by higher claims costs from inflation. Pretax net investment income dropped 23% to $593 million, Travelers said.
The bank will now have three operating segments - asset and wealth management, global banking and markets, and platform solutions. Goldman Sachs outlined leadership changes for the new units, with Marc Nachmann becoming global head of the asset and wealth management division. In the consumer and wealth management business, Goldman saw revenue jump 18% to $2.38 billion in the quarter, reflecting higher demand for loans and higher fees from managing assets. Goldman said its consumer unit will be folded into two separate businesses - wealth management and the newly created platform solutions. The Platform Solutions unit will include GreenSky, the fintech lender Goldman bought in a $2.2 billion deal.
Oct 18 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (<GS.N>) unveiled a plan to reorganize its business into three units in another overhaul in less than three years by the Wall Street giant, which also reported a smaller-than-expected 44% slump in third-quarter profit on Tuesday. The bank will now have three operating segments - asset and wealth management, global banking and markets, and platform solutions. Following is the leadership structure at Wall Street's foremost investment bank in the newly organized units:Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterAsset & Wealth Management (AWM): The new unit integrates the bank's investing and wealth activities into a single businessGlobal Banking & Markets (GBM): Integrates Goldman's investment banking and global markets into a single businessPlatform Solutions: The bank's new business will bring together its fintech platforms including GreenSky, that Goldman bought in a $2.2 billion deal in 2021Source: Goldman SachsRegister now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterReporting by Manya Saini, Niket Nishant, and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Saeed Azhar and Lananh Nguyen in New York Editing by Nick ZieminskiOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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