The 2014 All-Europe Research Team: Banks, No. 2: Kian Abouhossein & team

< The 2014 All-Europe Research Team

Kian Abouhossein & team
J.P. Morgan Cazenove

First-place appearances: 1

Total appearances: 12

Team debut: 1992

J.P. Morgan Cazenove’s troupe guided by Kian Abouhossein vaults back to second place after two years at runner-up. One money manager is impressed with Abouhossein’s “ability to tackle complicated issues in an in-depth manner” and lauds the leader for “his aggregation of a lot of data, including the output from different analysts, and his global view of investment banking trends combined with a detailed knowledge of European and U.S. players.” Most of the ten teammates are based in London; one colleague is in Paris. They cover 53 stocks and project Switzerland’s UBS as a top performer for this year. The financial services firm’s robust wealth management division, fixed-income restructuring and potential for material capital returns over time, says Abouhossein, support their positive outlook. “We estimate UBS will generate 61 percent of group earnings from asset gathering businesses in 2015,” he reports, “and will reach a very strong Basel III common equity tier-1 ratio of 13.9 percent leading to a dividend payout ratio of at least 50 percent in 2015.” Abouhossein’s crew sees value in European banks this year but expects some volatility in the short term. In particular, “in September we became more positive on Southern euro banks for the first time in two years,” he says. Accordingly, the analysts upgraded Italy’s UniCredit and Spain’s CaixaBank from neutral to overweight.