Receiving Wide Coverage ...

In the lead: Goldman Sachs promoted Gregg Lemkau and Marc Nachmann as co-heads of its investment-banking division, a move the Wall Street Journal calls one of the "biggest changes in a decade to the leaders atop its investment-banking division." Lemkau and Nachmann join John Waldron running the unit. Richard Gnodde, Waldron's counterpart in London, will now oversee Goldman's international business. Goldman also promoted Francois-Xavier de Mallmann to a senior role in London.

Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council.
Gary Cohn, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's choice for director of the National Economic Council, Bloomberg News

"The promotions stem from a broader shake-up atop Goldman last year," the paper noted, including former President Gary Cohn leaving the firm to take a senior role in the Trump administration. He was replaced by CFO Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, a senior investment banker. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

Wall Street Journal

SOS: Finance chiefs at 18 American regional banks want the Trump administration to go to bat for them against a new accounting rule that would require them to recognize losses on soured loans more quickly, "potentially setting the stage for a clash between the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission." The banks have asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to conduct an analysis of the long-term effects of the rule, which the banks argue "could do economic harm" by reducing lending and making borrowing more expensive. The rule was issued last year and set to take effect as early as 2019.

Desperately seeking profit: Online lender On Deck Capital said it eschewing growth and focusing on becoming profitable following seven quarterly losses since going public in December 2014. The company, which specializes in online loans to small businesses, announced the new strategy as it reported an $11.6 million loss in the first quarter. The stock was down sharply on the news.

"Fundamentally, investors are finally waking up to the fact that On Deck is more of a niche financial company than a revolutionary technology platform," the paper commented.

Growing Ant: Ant Financial, the financial services unit of Alibaba Group, has reached a deal with First Data that will allow Chinese visitors to the U.S. to use Alipay to make purchases on their smartphones at First Data's four million merchant customers.

Cleared: A federal jury in Miami dismissed civil claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against former BankAtlantic executive Alan Levan. The agency alleged Levan misled investors back in 2007 about trouble in the bank's loan portfolio, and that the bank manipulated the value of some loans. The jury found in favor of Levan and BBX Capital, as the bank is now known, on both counts.

Real support: Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Peter G. Peterson are donating $10 million to help Yale University create an online platform that will provide real-time support to government officials dealing with financial crises.

Financial Times

Shut out: A report from software provider Accuity says households and small businesses all over the world are being shut out of the global financial system because large banks have cut their ties with smaller banks in order to avoid the possibility of regulatory sanctions. "Many banks have reduced their networks of relationships with banks in other countries, fearing that flaws in their partners' controls could land them in trouble," the paper noted. The Accuity report said the number of correspondent banking relationships has dropped by more than 25% over the past seven years.

Heading for the exits: The number of financial services companies warning they may move jobs or activities out of the U.K. because of Brexit "are coming thicker and faster than ever," the paper reports. A report says more than a quarter of the 222 largest British financial services firms it tracks plan to move out of the country or change their headquarters, an increase of 50% in the past four months.


Buffalo News: Three vice chairmen – Rene F. Jones, Richard S. Gold and Kevin J. Pearson – are viewed as possible successors to longtime M&T Bank Corp. chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers, the Buffalo News reports. "Their career development reflects an approach Wilmers brought to the bank after arriving in 1983: creating leaders immersed in M&T's way of doing things, experienced in different business segments," the paper said.

Quotable ...

"You do not climb the ladder at M&T without a great degree of knowledge in your field and a grasp of the numbers. This comes from Wilmers. These are the people who get promoted." –John Wilcox, an economics and finance professor at SUNY Buffalo State

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