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Week in Review: Struggling Banks, JCPenny, and Carried Interest

Banking can be a dog-eat-dog world. Especially this week, when JPMorgan Chase released its earnings report claiming that many Tier I investment banks are “un-investable.” JPMC had no problem throwing other banks under the bus, singling out Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, while conveniently failing to mention that they too are a “tier 1 bank”. Looks like the pressures of imminent international regulatory changes are beginning to take a toll.

In other news, Ron Johnson was fired as CEO of JCPenny, Obama announced the new policy to tax carried interest as regular income, and a former KPMG Partner was charged with insider trading.

The Problem With Investment Banks, as Seen By a Bank: Criticisms of large investment banks are dime a dozen. It becomes intriguing, however, when the critics are the investment bankers themselves. In JPMorgan Chase’s latest earnings report, analysts claimed, “We see Tier I investment banks as un-investable.”

With Ron Johnson Out, What Should JCPenney Do Now? After just a year in the job, Ron Johnson is out as CEO of JCPenney. While the move is not that surprising — considering the company lost nearly $1B under his tutelage, the path of recovery remains unclear. The first step was to hire Blackstone to help raise cash.

Debunking Today’s Carried Interest Tax Arguments: Obama officially began the carried interest conversation earlier this week.  Under the new federal budget, carried interest would be taxed as normal income (but only the money that was originally invested by a third party). Dan Primack reacts to some of the major criticisms of the new approach.

Former KPMG Partner Is Charged With Insider Trading: Scott London, a former KPMG Partner, was charged with insider trading this week. He was accused of exchanging confidential client information with Bryan Shaw, a jeweler in the LA area, for over $1 million in illegal profits. Both men have since admitted to their misconduct.

A World of Difference for Private Equity: Bain has released its latest Global Private Equity Report. In addition discussing dry powder and the availability of debt, the report identifies trending sponsor-to-sponsor transactions and a growing importance on geography.

Google, Andreessen Horowitz & Kleiner Perkins Form “Glass Collective”: If you know of someone building an app for Google’s new Glass, they might soon find themselves in conversation with the “Glass Collective,” investors from Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Kleiner Perkins. While not a dedicated fund, it still lends some validity to Glass.

The Importance of the 100-Day Plan: The 100 days after a close are considered to be one of the most critical periods in a deal. If prepared for and executed correctly, this time can start the new relationship on the right path. Jack Purcell of Ridgemont Equity, Rob Ospalik of Baird, and Ed Kleinguetl of Grant Thornton discuss some strategies to ensure success.

Member Spotlight: Wilkes Lane Capital

Member Wilkes Lane Capital recently acquired Grand Die Engravers, Inc., a premier designer and manufacturer of plastic injection molds for the automotive industry. The company — located in Grand Rapids, MI — has produced superior quality products for over 40 years. The seller was advised by NuVescor, another Axial Member.

Wilkes Lane is an investment firm focused on acquiring manufacturing companies in the lower-middle market. In addition to straight capital, the firm invests sweat equity and aims to build relationships with committed management teams.

Click here to connect with Wilkes Lane or any of the other 10,000+ Axial Members.

Thanks to Robert S. Donovan for the photo.

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