The data were compiled by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., the New York-based investment banking firm. KBW chose the 100 largest publicly traded financial services companies as measured by assets. Five companies that went public in the past 5 years-Goldman Sachs Group, John Hancock Financial Services, Allmerica Financial Corp., MONY Group and Nationwide Financial Services-were excluded. Government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae were also excluded.KBW ranked each company on six criteria:

  • Average annual return on equity over five years
  • Average annual ROE over three years
  • Average ROE for 1999
  • Five-year compound growth rate of per-share earnings
  • Three-year compound growth rate of per-share earnings
  • Growth in earnings per share 1998-1999.

The total score is a sum of each company's rank in each category. In case of a tied score, the company with the higher growth in earnings per share in 1999 is ranked higher.

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