Tag Archive | "fact"

UBS Chairman Would Like A Little Credit For All The Investment Bank’s Legitimate Achievements

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As you may have heard, UBS has been going through a bit of a rough patch. Despite posting an annual profit (of 7.2 billion Swiss francs) for the first time since 2006, things just haven’t been the same since the crisis, and some have suggested it never will be, claiming that the bank “doesn’t have a chance” getting back to pre-crisis levels because “too much damage has been done.” Not helping things is the fact that there’s been very high turnover in the last couple months, which may have something to do with the fact that people would like to get paid. What you may not have heard is that the investment bank? Is kicking ass, according to Chairman Oswald Gruebel who is kind of confused as to why the media has chosen to ignore the division’s “steady progress” but wants employees to know he, for one, has not.

UBS Chief Sends Memo to I-Bankers [NetNet via BI]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Intel, QCOM Two-Legged Race For Mobile, Says Piper

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Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard this morning writes that Intel (INTC) and Qualcomm (QCOM) “will ultimately battle it out to dominate the 4th wave of computing,” meaning mobile devices, and he sees Apple (AAPL) as the lynchpin to both companies’ success of failure.

Richard reiterated a Neutral rating on Intel shares and an Overweight rating on Qualcomm.

Richard notes that Apple will play a “pivotal role” in the 4th wave, with its position in smartphones and tablets. Any gains by Intel or losses by Qualcomm of sockets in devices would be a surprise given that the conventional wisdom is that it’s all Qualcomm’s to win.

Qualcomm won the iPhone 5 and iPad 2 modem business at the end of last year, as Apple dropped Infineon Technologies AG (IFNNY) just as Intel was buying the latter’s modem business. One possible route back to Apple for Intel, says Richard, is for Intel to become Apple’s chip foundry.

This is a contention Richard has made a couple of times in the last week, writing a week ago that Apple could incorporate Intel’s “Atom” processor into some of its designs.

Today, Richard writes that “we continue to get data points that Intel is vying for Apple’s foundry business.” If Apple were to use Intel’s process technology to fabe its “A” series chips for mobile devices, it could be a way back in for Intel. The company’s “Tri-Gate” technology, unveiled two weeks ago, is awe inspiring, and may make up for the company’s “archaic” system-on-chip (SOC) designs.

Qualcomm, by contrast, has the lead in integration of modems and application processors, but it has chosen a poor process technology with its foundry partners, a PolySiON gate technology at 28 nanometers. This may cause the company’s products to be “slow or consume too much power,” Richard thinks.

Richard’s note is startling, as much for the fact that he makes the battle a two-legged race between Intel and Qualcomm, as for the fact that he seems to dismiss numerous other current or potential mobile chip suppliers, including Nvidia (NVDA), Texas Instruments (TXN), Marvell (MRVL), Broadcom (BRCM), and even Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

Intel shares this morning are down 9 cents, or 0.4%, at $23.32, while Qualcomm shares are up 28 cents, or half a point, at $57.40.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Short Of Paying People Well/Period, Is There Anything UBS Can Do To Make People Want To Work There?

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As you may have heard, UBS has been going through a bit of a rough patch. Despite posting an annual profit (of 7.2 billion Swiss francs) for the first time since 2006, things just haven’t been the same since the crisis, and some are suggesting it never will be, writing that the bank “doesn’t have a chance” getting back to pre-crisis levels because “too much damage has been done.” Not helping things is the fact that there’s been very high turnover in the last couple months, which may have something to do with the fact that people have a need to get paid.

The last two months have seen a large turnover of staff and an overhaul of management at the top. In the last month alone, a new global head of securities, the co-head of fixed-income, currencies and commodities, and a top deal maker in Asia, traditionally a strong region for UBS, have all left. At the same time, the bank has announced new leadership for the crucial M&A business and new chiefs for investment banking for the Americas, Asia and Europe, among other changes. Just this week, UBS lost the head of its prime brokerage unit in Asia, as well as the co-head of its Asian industrials banking team.

UBS is struggling to pay enough to keep top talent as it works on the revamp, say headhunters and former UBS bankers, with some senior bankers not having received a bonus in several years. And while UBS paid dearly to attract a few heavy hitters, overall pay is too low to keep staff from jumping ship, they say. In February, the bank delayed by a week the announcement of bonuses while it reworked its plan to try to prevent bankers from leaving.

Not saying no one at UBS will ever get paid again but in order to account for a worst case scenario, let’s just say that. Any ideas how management can entice people not to quit/take a gig with them? As the Swiss are getting desperate, you could probably suggest just about anything and they might give it a shot. What if they could guarantee a guy pulling up to the Stamford office in a white Civic and demanding to speak to “the President” while brandishing a baseball bat at least once a week? Would that be something you’d be interested in? (That might do it for me.)

Signs Of Strain At UBS Investment Bank [WSJ]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

TreatFeed pays shoppers for social recommendations

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treatfeedLos Angeles startup TreatFeed just launched a new spin on the crossover between social networking and e-commerce — it wants to reward users for their social recommendations with prizes and cash.

Scott Roback, the company’s senior vice president of strategy and business development, said that where companies like Facebook are trying to build a socail graph, TreatFeed is trying to create “the commerce graph, or the monetization layer of the social graph.”

Here’s how it works: TreatFeed aggregates deals from across the Web. Users come to the site for the deals, then ask their friends and family to join too. When users find deals that they like, they can recommend them to their connections on their site. And if someone actually acts on a deal, then TreatFeed gets an affiliate commission — which it then splits with users. The user who signed up for the deal gets a percentage, and the user who brought them into TreatFeed gets a smaller percentage, and so on, up through four “generations”.

Technically, the commission for shoppers takes the form of points, but those points can be redeemed for prizes or cash. Roback estimated that half of the money that TreatFeed receives for each deal will eventually go to users.

This system takes advantage of the fact that shoppers are already recommending products and deals to each other, Roback added. And the fact that TreatFeed is rewarding people for bringing in more users, rather than for recommending specific deals, seems smart, because it will help the site build out its user base quickly. It might also avoid criticisms that this system (like other “multilevel marketing” programs) starts to look like a pyramid scheme.

Even though TreatFeed is building a social graph (er, “commerce graph”) of its own, it also integrates with Facebook, allowing users to find friends from Facebook and also post deal recommendations on the social network. And it will work on affiliate programs with publishers, allowing the publishers to make money not just on the shoppers who sign up directly from their site, but on the larger SocialTree that builds as those shoppers continue using TreatFeed and bringing in their friends.

TreatFeed was incubated by Lagovent, the firm created by Konstantin Glasmacher and Brett Markinson. Markinson is the new startup’s chief executive. The pair has already successfully launched one e-commerce company, HauteLook, which was acquired by Nordstrom. TreatFeed raised $5.4 million in a round led by Norwest Venture Partners.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

No Need For Dot Coms To Feel Bashful About Drinking In Front Of Investment Bankers

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In a contemporary version of “Mad Men” and its bibulous ad executives, more dot-coms are embracing the idea of drinking at work. That means keeping bars stocked at all hours, installing kegerators and letting programmers tip back a few while they code. It’s typical to see employees with a beer on a Friday afternoon, when the company lets workers demonstrate new projects, he said. CrowdFlower also occasionally gets kegs for gatherings it hosts for its community of developers and users. “We had a customer from a bank come, around 11 a.m., and I was really embarrassed by the fact that we had a keg up,” Biewald said. “But he actually poured himself a drink.” [Bloomberg]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Nvidia: Op-Ex! Kal-El! Two Sides Of The Street Today

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As I mentioned earlier, shares of Nvidia (NVDA) came under pressure early this morning following the company’s slight miss on Q4 revenue last night, despite the fact the company is forecasting the current quarter’s revenue above estimates, even without a $22 million boost from its settlement with Intel (INTC) last [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily

WFR: SunEdison Solar Biz Shows Upside

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Among the nice things working in favor of MEMC’s (WFR) stock this evening — its shares were up 3% in late trading, at $11.97 — was the fact that its business of installing solar power systems is showing better financial results than it has in some time, as indicated in [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily

Yahoo!: Pacific Crest Raises To Outperform, $21 Target

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Shares of Yahoo! (YHOO) rose 29 cents, or 1.8%, at $16.12 after Pacific Crest Securities analyst Steve Weinstein raised his rating on the stock to Outperform from Sector Perform, arguing the stock represents a cheap bet on its Asian assets, despite the fact its fundamentals will probably continue to lag [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily

Goldman Sachs’ Abby Joseph Cohen Subject Of Intensely Awkward Times Interview

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Over the weekend, the NYT magazine ran a Q&A with Abby Joseph Cohen, president of the Global Markets group and senior investment strategist at Goldman Sachs. In the last two years, Goldman brass has been subject to more than its fair-share of grilling by the press. Some of the interviews have been reasonable- for instance, it’s not entirely out of bounds to ask for a high-ranking bank executive’s thoughts on the 2008 crisis- others the stuff of misinformed hack journalists who see it as their duty to wage a vendetta for the bloodthirsty public who want to blame everything on the financial community without taking any blame themselves. None have been as uncomfortable, hostile or delightfully awkward as Deborah Solomon’s “Questions” with AJC. From Solomon’s typically adversarial and I don’t want to call them kind of bitchy but okay, kind of bitchy questions to Cohen seemingly, amazingly, being entirely caught off-guard by the fact that someone from the NYT would ask her, a GS employee, about the crisis, and her almost entire inability to adapt to a more adversarial line of questioning than she was expecting, this thing was so delightfully car-wreck you can’t look away from-esque that few things could top it, except maybe seeing Lloyd Blankfein and his wife having a drawn out argument in front of Williams Sonoma about whether or not he’s allowed to go to his nephew’s bachelor party.

Everything starts off fine, with business about a lack of women in the senior ranks on Wall Street. JoCo answers the question as anyone probably would, by not really answering it at all because having a vagina does not necessarily make you an authority on why it’s harder for women to obtain/maintain senior roles, or mean you know how to solve the problem, or mean you even care because some people don’t. Remembering what she was there for- detonating a bomb that explodes not once but multiple times- and probably realizing she had a limited amount of time, Solomon gets right into the good stuff.

Do you have a Facebook page?
No, I don’t. I don’t think we should talk about this. No one here is supposed to be talking about Facebook.

Do you mean the fact that Goldman Sachs basically committed securities fraud, Solomon wonders?

You’re referring to the fact that Goldman Sachs just withdrew its offer to American clients to sell shares of Facebook, which could violate all kinds of rules.
I can’t comment.

Fair enough, Solomon figures, and moves onto a new topic on which she has not yet formed an opinion– is it unethical and likely even criminal that your boss makes millions and if yes how do you justify his paycheck when he provides little to nothing to society?

Do you think it’s ethically justifiable that certain bankers earn $50 million or $60 million a year at a time when unemployment is nearly 10 percent and income inequality is widening in this country?
The income inequality that you refer to is apparent in many different places. You see it in athletics; you see it in entertainment; you see it in your industry as well. You take a look at the compensation of C.E.O.’s of major corporations, recognizing that those corporations have become much larger —they do business in many different parts around the world — and it’s very difficult to know how to properly benchmark the compensation.

You could say that entertainers at least provide entertainment, as opposed to a C.E.O. What is a C.E.O. contributing to society?
What about the C.E.O. of the New York Times Company?

What about her? She’s contributing a newspaper to society, which presumably keeps the American public better informed. It has been widely observed that the financial-services industry is not creating a product in the tangible sense.
It’s unfortunate that — I think that there is not a good understanding as to the role of financial intermediaries. For example, without banks it’s hard to see how businesses would get the money they need to grow and to hire new workers. Let’s not lose track of the fact that most people need to borrow in order to buy a home, and if you don’t have banks, that’s not going to happen.

A natural segue from here, practically anyone would agree, would be to ask the subject how it felt to get demoted. What it’s like to take orders from someone younger and more nimble. If it feels as though he/she is being slowly phased out.

In 2008, David Kostin replaced you as Goldman’s chief forecaster. Did you see that as a demotion?
Certainly not. It was a generational thing. I hired David several years earlier, and the idea was that David would move into the position.

Finally, let’s talk about the 2008 crisis. You may not have caused the entire thing with your own two hands, working late at night on it when everyone else had gone home but you didn’t personally do anything to stop it, is that right? And if yes, does that weigh on your conscience? And finally, how do you sleep at night?

Do you feel any responsibility for the economic meltdown of 2008, which you failed to foresee?
That’s an odd question to be asking me.

I did not think that was part of what we were going to be talking about.

We’re talking about your life; there was a big meltdown in 2008. I’m wondering, how do you deal with that emotionally?
I would say that the causes of the meltdown were multiple, and it is a mistake to point a finger at any one entity. And that these problems took place not just in the United States. This was a very unfortunate confluence, bad decisions made by many different entities.

The only thing that could have made this better is if it were a video interview and the questions were posed by Jiminy Glick.

Questions For Abby Joseph Cohen [NYT]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

STG Capital “Abruptly Close”

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The tech-focused hedge fund apparently just started notifying people this morning, though investors have not been formally told yet. Performance has been “solid” and no explanation has been offered for the shuttering though some people are supposedly wondering if the fact that a former Galleon analyst had ties to the firm (albeit leaving several years back) had anything to do with the news.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker