The Wall Street Journal reports that outgoing Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis has said that the Merrill Lynch integration is ahead of schedule, and that the company expects to achieve 45% of the planned cost savings by the end of this year, as opposed to the original target of 25%.
Speaking at a Bank of America- sponsored banking conference in New York, Lewis also said: 'I am confident history will show that our action....in building Bank of America positioned our company for future success. As I look ahead, I see no reason that Bank of America will not be among the handful of the most important and most successful financial-services companies in the world'.
And Bloomberg reports that BofA's former lead director, Temple Sloan, has come out and said that the firm should hire an insider to take over from Lewis, as it is important that whoever comes in, hits the ground running. Sloan is said to favour Brian Moynihan, who heads up consumer and small business banking.
The news agency also reports that Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein has pointed out that his firm isn't 'too big to manage'. Speaking at the BofA conference, Blankfein said: 'Our business is very complex....I won't deny that. But it's far, far simpler than most of the competitors. I wonder myself how some of these things get managed'.
In the meantime, Reuters reports that profits over at Barclays Capital have hit $2.33bn for the first nine months of the year.
And State Street bosses have said that they are making good progress cleaning up the unrealized losses in the firm's investment portfolio.
Reuters also reports that Schroders has posted third-quarter profits at $96.2m, down 19% on the same period last year.
Finally, Bloomberg reports that hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors has reviewed its trading activity as cited in the Galleon insider trading case, and found nothing suspicious. A former employee of the firm, who left several years ago, has been charged by prosecutors for alleged involvement in the Galleon affair.
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