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UBS Warburg hosts global financial services conference
The UBS Warburg Global Financial Services Conference begins today at The Pierre Hotel in New York City and runs through Thursday, April 26. Over 95 senior executives from banks, insurance companies, asset managers, speciality finance firms, thrifts, mortgage companies, government sponsored entities and e-finance enterprises from 27 countries will present during the four-day event. The conference will highlight current trends influencing the financial services sector, including the condition of global economies and financial markets, industry consolidation, and key strategic initiatives ranging from restructuring efforts to Internet enablement.
Monday's agenda includes a keynote presentation by Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Other speakers include: Ian Harley, chief executive officer of Abbey National; Richard D. Fairbank, chairman and chief executive officer of Capital One; Josef Ackerman, designated speaker of the Board of Deutsche Bank; Eugene McQuade, vice chairman and chief financial officer of FleetBoston; Martin G. McGuinn, chairman and chief executive officer and Steven G. Elliot, senior vice chairman and chief financial officer of Mellon Financial and Rolf Huppi, chairman and chief executive officer of Zurich Financial Services.
On Tuesday, Edward M. Liddy, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Allstate; Thomas A. Renyi, chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of New York; Baudouin Prot, chief executive officer of BNP Paribas; Fred Goodwin, chief executive officer of Royal Bank of Scotland and David Moffett; vice chairman and chief financial officer of US Bancorp will present individually.
Gary Wendt, chairman and chief executive officer of Conseco and Donald B. Marron, chairman of UBS PaineWebber will be keynote speakers on Wednesday. In addition, presentations will be made by Tom de Swaan, chief operating officer member managing board of ABN Amro; Kenneth L. Chenault, chief executive officer of American Express; Charles W. Scharf, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Bank One; Apostolos Tamvakakis, deputy chairman of National Bank of Greece; Shailesh Mehta, chairman and chief executive officer of Providian and Bob Mendelsohn, chief executive officer of Royal Sun & Alliance.
Speakers for Thursday will include: Saint Sauveur, senior executive vice president of BBVA; Jose Luis del Valle, chief financial officer of BSCH, Jay S. Fishman, chairman and chief executive officer of Travelers P&C; Richard Harvey, chief executive officer of CGNU; Leland C. Brendsel, chairman and chief executive officer Freddie Mac and Steven McDonald, chief executive officer of TD Waterhouse.
The banking sector faces considerable challenges in 2001 due to the slowing of the U.S. economy and recent market turmoil. In addition, asset quality has begun to deteriorate after a decade of consistent improvement. UBS Warburg expects the presenting bank executives to discuss how their firms are dealing with the current environment, and how they are positioning their firms to manage credit portfolios while continuing to focus on growing top-line revenues and controlling expense growth.
The U.S. credit card sector is a large and consolidating market. Approximately 80% of the industry's loans are held by the 10 largest issuers. The industry is likely to face a number of challenges this year, including a slowdown in consumer spending and rising credit losses. UBS Warburg expects the companies at the conference to discuss strategies for weathering the difficult economy and the challenges of market share expansion both domestically and abroad as markets mature.
The property casualty insurance industry is a mature, cyclical industry. Year 2000 marked the beginning of the current firming rate cycle. In 2001, companies should continue to benefit from the property casualty improved pricing environment. The insurance rates continuing to increase in magnitude and breadth, coupled with a more disciplined approach to underwriting, should lead to an improved earnings outlook. Further growth through consolidation remains an ongoing industry initiative. UBS Warburg expects the companies presenting at the conference to discuss how they intend to enhance their respective position in the sector, while maximizing bottom line results.
The mortgage finance stocks and their earnings are largely driven by interest rates. The interest rate declines over the past year have widened interest margins and increased home mortgage loan origination volume. The other key issue is credit quality because of the weaker economy. Home mortgage loans should hold up well because the housing collateral is in excellent shape. UBS Warburg assumes that the great bulk of the interest rate declines are behind us. Therefore, UBS Warburg has grown more cautious on the mortgage stocks and anticipates that presenting companies will discuss how they are positioning their companies for prosperity in the current market.
The asset management sector as a whole have, lately, risen at a faster rate than underlying assets under management, leaving us cautious on the group over the near term based on valuation. However, UBS Warburg still views the asset management business as having great long-term prospects given demographic trends, although the glory days of the 1990's are behind it. UBS Warburg expects the asset management companies presenting at the conference to focus somewhat on recent results, but more particularly on both their distribution strategies and how they are coping with the current difficult environment.
There will be listen-only telephone conference lines for the general public to hear the presentations. The live call-in numbers will be +1 888-515-2781 and +719-457-2605 for international calls. The replay numbers will be 1+ 888-566-0785 and +402-220-0102 for international calls. The replay line will be available for up to four weeks after the conference. In addition, there is a 24-hour delay on all webcasts from the conference and will be available beginning Tuesday, April 24, 2001 on this website.
Amy Rosenberg: +212-713-8510 (w)