Kian Abouhossein & team J.P. Morgan
second teamJonathan Pierce, Guillaume Tiberghien & team Credit Suisse
third teamRobert Law, Karl (Jonathan) Peace & team Nomura
Kian Abouhossein guides the 11-strong J.P. Morgan team up one rung to first place for the first time. Investors applaud the team for publishing timely and in-depth reports that keep a solid focus on balance sheets. In September 2008 the analysts downgraded Lloyds TSB Group (now Lloyds Banking Group) from neutral to underweight, at 285.75p, warning that the British bank would experience severe capital constraints owing to its planned acquisition of Halifax Bank of Scotland. The stock had plummeted to 50.69p by late December 2009, a loss of 82.3 percent that trailed the sector by an eye-popping 58.9 percentage points. Abouhossein, 37, was born in Germany and moved to Vancouver, Canada, when he was 16. He earned a bachelors degree in finance from the University of British Columbia in 1995, then moved to London, where he worked as a banks analyst at UBS and HSBC Global Asset Management before joining J.P. Morgan in 2001.
Leaping from runner-up to second place is the Credit Suisse team of ten, co-led by Jonathan Pierce and newcomer Guillaume Tiberghien. No one comes close to Jonathan on the U.K. banks, and no one can touch Guillaume on the French, observes one money manager. Clients applaud the groups valuation-driven upgrade of Barclays to outperform in March, at 64.80p. By December 31 shares of the British bank had catapulted to 276p and outpaced the sector by a whopping 180.3 points. The team reinstated coverage of Natixis with an outperform rating in July, at 1.36, on the belief that the distressed French banks recent restructuring would provide investors with a new sustainable business model. The stock had leapt 161 percent, to 3.55, and blown past the sector by 146.4 points by the end of last year.
Unranked last year, the 11-analyst Nomura International crew jointly helmed by Robert Law and newcomer Karl (Jonathan) Peace finishes third. Lauded for its ability to provide a thorough understanding of the dynamics driving the banking sector, in the words of one investor, the team initiated coverage of DnB Nor in March with a buy recommendation, at 23.30, on the strength of the Norwegian banks domestic loan portfolio. By year-end the stock had soared to 62.75.
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