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European Equities House of the Year
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Under the leadership of Frenchman Julien Bahurel, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has continued to gain ground on rivals in market share. It was the top-ranked broker for pan-European equity customer volume during the first half of 2016, according to figures produced by IHS Markit. Clients say it is strong across execution channels, particularly sales trading and electronic, and in asset classes such as cash and equity derivatives.
Credit Suisse, like many other European investment banks, is struggling under the weight of much-needed restructuring but its European equities business continues to be a leading light of the bank. In the first half of 2016, it handled customer equity business worth €627.8 billion, according to IHS Markit, making it the fourth-ranked bank – the same position it held for all of 2015. The Swiss bank has strength across the board and is highly praised, in particular for its electronic offering – known as AES – and prime brokerage.
Under London-based global head of equities Tim Throsby, JP Morgan has been seeking to create a top-five equities franchise in recent years to match its success in fixed income and elsewhere. Those efforts appear to be paying off, driven by strong investments in its electronic platforms as well services for hedge funds. Its European electronic offering is now regarded as in the industry’s top five, according to Greenwich Associates surveys. Meanwhile, it ended the first half of 2016 as the sixth-ranked broker by value of European client equity business executed, according to IHS Markit, up from eighth at the end of 2015.
Morgan Stanley’s equities business generated revenues that were just over $8 billion globally in 2015, more than other Wall Street bank for the second successive year, beating Goldman Sachs into second place. Central to the bank’s success has been its global presence, as well as a strong electronic offering. That low-touch expertise has translated itself into big market share. The bank was the top-ranked broker by pan-European equity flow in 2015, according to figures produced by IHS Markit.
A consistent theme throughout all of UBS’s strategic overhauls has been its equities franchise – often regarded as the most important business supporting the Swiss bank’s wealth management arm. UBS is a recognised leader across many aspects of the franchise, including electronic trading, equity derivatives and prime brokerage. It recently combined its electronic equities trading divisions into a single division covering multiple product types in a bid to provide a better experience for clients. It has not all been plain sailing, however, as the bank parted ways with Roger Naylor, a co-head of equities, leaving Rob Karofsky in sole charge.