BlackRock Names, Citi Victory, Coutts Aggressively Hires, JPMorgan Payback, Morgan Stanley Upgrade, UBS Stepdown

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Here's the latest Citi, MF Global, Morgan Stanley and UBS news.

Reuters reports that U.S. fund manager BlackRock Inc on Monday named Justin Arter as head of its Australian operations, replacing Damien Frawley who is moving to head Queensland Investment Corp.

The news agency also reports that Citigroup and its CEO Vikram Pandit on Friday won a dismissal of New York real estate developer Sheldon Solow's lawsuit accusing them of securities fraud for hiding the bank's risks during the 2008 financial crisis.

U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan said Solow failed to show that the defendants had materially misled him about Citigroup's liquidity and capitalization, or that his stock losses were caused when the bank's risks were realized.

And The Financial Times reports that Royal Bank of Scotland-owned private bank Coutts & Co 'has embarked on an aggressive hiring spree as it attempts to bolster its performance'. According to the newspaper, the wealth unit is  'now strengthening core businesses in the UK, Middle East, Asia Switzerland and eastern Europe'. 

In the meantime, Bloomberg reports that a trustee for brokerage MF Global has said that JPMorgan Chase has returned $168m in cash and that he’s still discussing his other claims with the bank.

The $168m is said to be the proceeds of excess collateral that JPMorgan held at the beginning of the brokerage’s liquidation.

And the news organisation also reports that Morgan Stanley's stock was upgraded to buy by UBS, after the firm’s shares dropped to a level CEO James Gorman deemed 'inexplicable'.

Drags on trading revenue from Europe’s debt crisis are already reflected in the price of Morgan Stanley’s stock, which has fallen 23%, UBS analysts led by Brennan Hawken said in a note to investors last week. That valuation, less than half the tangible book value, reflects “a very negative outcome,” and the shares should rise about 30%, Hawken wrote.

Finally, Reuters reports that Nick Reid is stepping down as co-head of European, Middle Eastern and African investment banking at UBS, according to a memo seen by Reuters, to spend more time with clients as the firm seeks to rebuild its market share.

UBS has fallen down the league table in mergers and acquisitions since the financial crisis and aims to regain a top three position, a person familiar with the matter said.

image: © Garry Knight

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