• 01 Nov

Why wonkishness matters for budgets – a note for CFOs, COOs & Procurement

Darren Sharma Thursday, November 1st, 2018

We all know that offshore analysts are hugely efficient for budgets. Unhappily, local research and risk analysts tend to resist increasing their usage. Can we get past this with full buy-in from local stakeholders? The answer is yes and the key is quality.   Graduates in offshore locations are smart. In India, for example, 200,000 students take the entrance exams for 2,000 places at the best MBA colleges each year. So how come most offshore analysts are held in such low regard by your research colleagues? The answer is simply that mass market offshore analysts tend not to get much …

  • 01 Oct

First steps for risk managers who have to offshore or augment their teams

Darren Sharma Monday, October 1st, 2018

Costs need to come down in banking, so it’s inevitable that the CEO or COO will knock on the door of risk management and mandate offshoring or augmentation. What are the fundamental concepts you need? The concepts Outsourcing – using analysts employed by someone else. The legal form is consultancy and usually the consultants are dedicated to you. Offshoring – there are other centres, but much of the time, you’re dealing with analysts in India. They will mostly be early stage analysts, recruited in the first year of their careers. Nearshore – lower cost locations in your country. In the UK that might …

  • 04 Sep

Here’s one way to value bitcoin

Darren Sharma Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

The past few weeks have been stressful for investors of bitcoin and other digital currencies, leaving them struggling to decipher bitcoin’s true value. Dan Davies, senior research adviser at Frontline Analysts, argued there’s no point in attempting to value bitcoin as if it were just another type of security. Adding “though I still would not trade, nor invest in it as I cannot predict capital flows in and out of bitcoin.” Read what he thinks here:http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-bitcoin-may-be-worth-only-a-third-of-its-value-2017-09-15

  • 13 Aug

Extra brains in your executive office would look like this

Darren Sharma Monday, August 13th, 2018

It has been just over 9 months since my colleague Gunjan and I started supporting one of the CROs of a large Canadian bank.  Our job is to provide focus on matters which are important to him but not core day to day matters. That ranges from what Trump is likely to do, to Saudi politics and their effect on long term oil prices. We don’t carry out day-to-day risk management but we do analyse regulatory papers pertaining directly and indirectly to risk. Our output includes A morning note, which our client has at the start of his commute to …

  • 03 Jul

Life is Elsewhere, Życie jest gdzie indziej, जीवन कहीं और है

Darren Sharma Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

These days, when it comes to off-shoring thinking tasks, a lot of banks are feeling pretty jaded with wherever their off-shoring has been done. Usually that’s India. Off-shoring is quite often a draining experience – I’ve written in other blogs about why this so often happens (and why it doesn’t have to be that way). Missed deadlines, problems not being raised, ‘they just don’t get it’ – you know the litany.   One response to this situation is near-shoring. Birmingham and Salt Lake City are the sorts of places where banking activity will grow fast. A quite different response is to emphasis …

  • 07 Jun

How to convert lame outsourcing into energised outsourcing

Darren Sharma Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Here are two things which I often hear from analysts who work with offshore resources, and I’ve been wondering how they can be consistent – My offshore analysts are pretty poor. I have to train them a lot, turnover is high and they just don’t seem to get it. – Our outsourcing arrangement is fine. Why don’t people think this is inconsistent?   Are their standards too low? Mass market research offshoring has been around since 2001. It was preceded by large middle office and IT operations. When, after Y2K, bright sparks in operations decided to try offshore research, it …

  • 27 Apr

The Economist quotes Frontline Analysts on Deutsche Bank

Prabhu Friday, April 27th, 2018

Shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic? The appointment of a dyed-in-the-wool retail banker as head of Deutsche Bank is at best a pointless exercise in the bank’s continuing search for a new identity in the post-2008 financial landscape. At worst it suggests a bank heading in completely the wrong direction. Read what he thinks here: https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21740428-process-selecting-him-shows-bank-still-lacks-clear ABOUT POST AUTHOR Daniel Davies Senior Research Adviser

  • 13 Apr

Deutsche Bank made a familiar mistake by appointing Christian Sewing CEO

Prabhu Friday, April 13th, 2018

Einstein’s definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Dan Davies outlines why Deutsche Bank’s appointment of a retail banker as CEO of what is effectively an investment bank is the latest outbreak of corporate insanity in the European financial sector. The most egregious recent example was appointment of Anthony Jenkins as CEO of Barclays plc earlier in the decade. However some might say the template for this go-to management manouevre was crafted as far back as the late 1980s and the UK banks’ reaction to meltdown in their newly-established investment …

  • 13 Mar

The home front: managing home centre managers when augmenting

Darren Sharma Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

When introducing or upgrading an augmented research team, banks, asset managers and risk managers often hope that their home centre teams will automatically work out how to collaborate with these resources. In our experience of carrying out this integration since 2005, we have found that this is never in fact the case. Augmentation can happen offshore, in a city in your home country, or even with analysts who sit next to you.  The value addition of resources on offer to capital markets and risk management through augmentation has historically been at the low end. This is now changing. Imagine a …

  • 05 Feb

Outrage is right, but do you want to help solve the Presidents Club problem?

Darren Sharma Monday, February 5th, 2018

What happened at the Presidents Club quite rightly generated a howl of outrage from the real City, the proper City. Moving past that, how do you help solve the Presidents Club problem? The answer is easy, cheap and profitable. A group of men gathered at the Dorchester Hotel for a charity dinner. They were all rich, powerful men and the City is where the bulk got their money. A group of hostesses were hired on barely the London Living Wage, and many were harassed verbally and physically. Sex worker rates are considerably above this wage rate, so we know that most …