Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Moving on: MetLife CFO John C. R. Hele, whose pay was cut 6.4% last year following the company’s pension payment scandal, is leaving the company. He will be succeeded immediately by executive vice president and treasurer John McCallion. MetLife said Hele is retiring but will stay with the company until September. Hele’s pay cut included a 25% decrease in the cash portion of his incentive pay. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Bad sharing: Goldman Sachs will pay $110 million to the Federal Reserve Board and the New York Department of Financial Services to settle claims it failed to supervise its foreign exchange traders. The traders were accused of routinely sharing information about client orders and their market positions with competing firms, which disadvantaged clients. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
Looking elsewhere: AllianceBernstein, which the paper calls “one of the oldest names on Wall Street,” is relocating to Nashville. The move “reinforces a recent shift in finance jobs to cheaper parts of the U.S.” and is “part of a broad cost-cutting effort within a firm that for years has been under extreme pressure from the rising popularity of index-tracking funds and low-cost investing.”
Two sides to every story: Omeed Malik, the Bank of America hedge fund executive who was fired in January following allegations of sexual misconduct, has filed a defamation claim against the bank. The claim, which seeks $100 million, was filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The bank “threatened the employment and livelihood of other employees they interviewed if they did not admit to inappropriate conduct on Mr. Malik’s part, which these employees courageously refused to do,” Malik’s lawyer said. “The bank stands by its decision to terminate Mr. Malik,” BofA responded. “His claims are without merit and we will defend ourselves in this matter.”
Fight the good fight: Mick Mulvaney doesn’t appear to have many defenders, if the most recent headlines are any indicator, but he still has fans on the paper’s editorial board, which praises him for “doing yeoman’s work cleaning up after Richard Cordray at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.” They would be even happier if he dropped the bureau’s “dubious lawsuit” against Navient, the big student-loan servicer, and paid it restitution for its litigation expenses.
“The Navient depositions show that many of the complaints [against it] are unreliable and serve no other purpose than to give grist to trial lawyers and tarnish the reputation of law-abiding businesses,” the editors say.
Revving up: While “some of its competitors are showing signs of throttling back,” Blackstone is expanding aggressively in the U.S. subprime auto loan business. The company, which bought a majority stake in Exeter Finance in 2011, has “since injected more than $400 million into the company and poached its senior management team from Santander Consumer, the biggest U.S subprime auto lender.” Exeter is now one of the top issuers of securities backed by subprime car loans and its loan portfolio grew by 10% last year to $3.4 billion.
Funding fintechs: iZettle, the fast-growing Swedish payments and ecommerce company, may come to market as early next week with what the paper says would be the largest initial public offering by a European fintech company. The deal would also be the first in a series of IPOs expected this year by other large European fintech companies, including Adyen, the Dutch payments group, and Funding Circle, a British startup.
A first: Morgan Stanley has named Clare Woodman as the first woman at a major London investment bank to head up its Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. Woodman “was already one of the most senior women in the City through her role as chief operating officer for Morgan Stanley International,” the paper notes. She replaces Rob Rooney, an American who is returning to the company’s New York headquarters as head of technology.
“Clare’s years of experience working in London and her deep understanding of ISG (Institutional Securities Group) uniquely position her to lead the firm in our largest international market as Brexit’s impact continues to unfold.” — Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, announcing the appointment of Clare Woodman as head of the company’s EMEA operations.