1. BANK OF AMERICA: – Bank of America has snapped up Emmanuel Regniez from Citigroup (NYSE:C) to co-head its investment banking franchise for France as it seeks to strengthen its network of European hubs after Brexit, according to a memo seen by Reuters.
Regniez will share the investment banking leadership for France with Jerome Morisseau and will work closely with Stephane Courbon and Laurent Vieillevigne – respectively chairman of the bank’s corporate and investment banking division for France and vice chairman of investment banking for France.
Regniez has 26 years of investment banking experience having worked for Nomura and Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) and most recently Citi, where he ran investment banking and sponsor coverage for France.
2. ERICSSON: – Sweden’s Ericsson (BS:ERICAs) on Tuesday unveiled a subscription service for remote working in North America that would allow employees of small businesses to start working from home in minutes with access to licensed apps, cloud storage and security tools.
The company, known for selling telecom equipment to phone companies, has been benefiting from the sale of 5G gear and is now looking to diversify into other business areas.
A business customer can buy applications from a marketplace, access the platform from any device and would not need a dedicated IT technician to set up the system.
Not only can one activate workers in minutes, they can decide which employees can get access to certain apps or capabilities, said Åsa Tamsons, head of business area technologies and new businesses.
3. EXXON: – Climate activists are prodding Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM)’s top shareholders to vote against the reelection of two directors, a move that could boost a hedge fund’s proxy fight to seat four candidates on the oil giant’s board.
Environmental group Sierra Club and other activists have bombarded BlackRock Inc (NYSE:BLK) and Vanguard Group with calls and emails urging that they vote against Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods and lead independent director Kenneth Frazier at this month’s shareholder meeting. The two money management firms hold more than 13% of Exxon shares combined.
Exxon is battling activist hedge fund Engine No. 1 over four seats on the 12-member board and the company’s future direction. The fund has criticized Exxon’s poor returns from heavy spending on fossil fuels and lack of a clear transition to cleaner fuels. It has support from some large pension funds in California and New York.
4. VERIZON: – Verizon Communications Inc is getting rid of its media businesses that include iconic brands Yahoo and AOL for $5 billion, ending an expensive and unsuccessful run in the media and advertising world.
Despite spending more than a decade and billions of dollars building a stable of internet brands, the New York-based telecom company has struggled to make headway in a highly competitive internet advertising space dominated by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL).
Having written $4.6 billion off the value of the businesses in 2018, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) will get just $4.25 billion in cash from private equity firm Apollo Global, along with preferred interests of $750 million and a 10% stake in the unit – about half of what it had paid for the businesses.
5. APPLE: – Epic Games argued that Apple purposely locks in its customers in the first day of a landmark trial with Apple over the rules of the App Store.
Epic is looking to force Apple to open up iPhone software distribution so it could use its own payment processor, bypassing Apple’s customary 30% fee on digital goods. A favorable ruling could even allow Epic to offer its own app store for iPhones.
Apple is arguing that it built the App Store and gets to set the rules, which are designed to ensure that apps are high quality and secure.
“Epic wants us to be Android, but we don’t want to be. And our consumers don’t want that either. They want the choice,” Apple lawyer Karen Dunn said.
Epic’s argument is that Apple’s App Store is anti-competitive, and that its arguments about quality and security are essentially an excuse to exclude competitors like Epic Games’ title Fortnite, which was booted from Apple’s store last year after it introduced a direct payment mechanism.