When I was a general partner at Cowen in 1998, Societe Generale purchased the business for four times book value. Expectations were obviously high. But I had seen this movie before. I left a year later to start at Neuberger Berman.
The French bank lost several hundred million dollars on its investment when Cowen spun off in 2006. It was a prime example of a European bank faltering in an attempt to capture American share. Many attempts like this in the 90's had similar fates.
But my "Call-to-Action" today is to watch this movie again with a revamped ending. European banksmight have it right this time, and here's why.
On The Strategy Session yesterday, we had a special guest in Scott Page. With over twenty years of experience in the executive search industry, the Co-CEO of Solomon Page is on the pulse of the most influential financial services professionals on a global basis.
Page discussed the resurgence of Wall Street hiring on the show. Afterwards, I got to thinking about these European banks and how things may have changed based on what was said.
Page agreed that there was some tough-sledding in the mid-90's, but that was a different economy. The global nature of today's infrastructure has enabled European firms to make tremendous inroads.
And while Page cannot comment on the specific details of movements and agendas that he sees, he certainly sees the revival of Wall Street hiring shining a positive light on names like Barclay's, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse.
With our eye on the capital markets, the syndicate calendar, and dealmaking, it is important to stay tuned here.
All year we've heard about the problems of Europe and contagion. But the big banks might be in better shape than ever to make moves where they've failed in the past
- Euro Shares Fall After US Jobs Data
- Video: Scott Page, the Co-CEO Solomon Page
- Sovereign Credit-Default Swaps
- The Importance of the Syndicate Calendar
Programming note: "The Strategy Session," hosted by David Faber and Gary Kaminsky, airs weekdays at Noon ET on CNBC.
Gary Kaminsky does not hold any equity positions.
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