U.S. Bancorp catapulted its business selling investment-grade corporate bonds up league tables faster than any major rival since the financial crisis, jumping 49 rungs to rank No. 15 this year. That’s just the start of its aspirations in capital markets.
“We’ve really just scratched the surface,” Stephen Philipson, head of credit and municipal fixed income, said in an interview. “There’s a lot of opportunity to grow, especially as competitors, in some instances, rationalize their capital and rationalize where they’re committing capital.”
Bloomberg News reports that the bank -- the nation’s largest regional lender -- plans to hire “opportunistically” as it expands other services to corporate clients, including in foreign exchange and interest-rate derivatives, Philipson said. That contrasts with the retreat at many global banks that have been shrinking staffs and limiting capital dedicated to fixed-income divisions, which typically handle transactions in debt, currencies, commodities and certain derivatives.
The firm’s progress in U.S. investment-grade corporate bond underwriting illustrates what it aims to achieve. No bank in the nation’s top 20 for that business has climbed as many rungs as U.S. Bancorp since 2008 without a massive acquisition, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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