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Financial Institutions: Banks/Large-Cap 2009

Repeat first-teamer Matthew ­O’Connor joined Deutsche Bank Securities in April after five years at UBS.

Matthew O’Connor

Matthew O’Connor Deutsche

second teamJason Goldberg Barclays

third teamJohn McDonald Sanford C. Bernstein

Repeat first-teamer Matthew ­O’Connor joined Deutsche Bank Securities in April after five years at UBS, and he hit the ground running. In May, after U.S. regulators released results of the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program — the so-­called “stress tests” — that revealed many of the nation’s 19 biggest banks were better capitalized than originally thought, ­O’Connor upgraded Regions Financial Corp. from hold to buy, calling shares of the Birmingham, ­Alabama–based institution a bargain at $3.83. (Regulators concluded that Regions needed only $2.5 billion in additional capital, a fraction of the $33.9 billion they determined that Bank of America Corp. required.) The stock soared 53 percent by late August, to $5.86, and outpaced the sector by 40.8 percentage points. ­O’Connor, 34, “is a great forward-­thinker,” notes one grateful client.

Leapfrogging from ­runner-up to second place is Jason Goldberg, who also is No. 3 in Banks/Midcap. The Barclays Capital analyst is applauded for raising Boston’s State Street Corp. to a top pick in December, on the firm’s limited credit exposure and bargain price of $41.76. By August 31 the stock had advanced 25.7 percent, to $52.48. “He is always way ahead of the curve,” cheers one ­money man­ager.

Unranked last year, John McDonald of Sanford C. Bernstein takes third-place honors. McDonald reiterated his long-­standing outperform rating on ­JPMorgan Chase & Co. in June, at $34.89, on the New York–based investment and retail bank’s diversity of business lines. The stock had jumped to $43.46 by the end of August, a gain of 24.6 percent that beat the sector by 11 percentage points.

Click here to see the All-America Research Teamrankings.

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