Goldman Protects Turf, AIG Performs, As Bofa Looking to Pay Up

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Goldman Protects Turf, AIG Performs, As Bofa Looking to Pay Up


American International Group Inc. had a good start to the year when its profits for the first quarter of the year, doubled.

The good performance realized by American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG), was brought about due to improved results, and change in performance in two of its major holdings. The company’s operating income was in fact so great that it beat estimates of $1.12 price per share that had been put forward by analysts, to post $1.65 per share. In fact, the results announced did not include some investment performances.

Profits in the firm’s domestic life insurance and retirement services business increased 12% to post 1.31 billion before taxation, and its property-casualty arm also had a good showing giving $1.04 billion, from a loss of around $424 million that it had recorded in the previous year.

The company’s CEO, Robert Benmosche said that this performance was not only great, but that it was necessary in order to meet the giant company’s goals that had been put down last year. Some of the goals that were created last year included increasing the firm’s returns on equity to more than 10% by 2015. Other goals included distributing more than $30 billion on buybacks, acquisitions, capital share and dividends.

However, the firm’s great performance is attributed by experts as having been shored up by the good showing of Asian life insurer AIA Group Ltd. where AIG holds a minority stake.

On the other hand, Goldman Sachs is moving out to try and protect its turf. The firm is about to put a bond trading program in which it will charge fees lower than those on other bond trades. This move is meant to ensure that customers are retained due to new trading centres that are being put up by its rivals like Blackrock Inc. (NYSE: BLK).

The New York based Securities Firm has been creating an electronic platform; code named GSessions that is meant to bring clients together so that they may be able to sell and buy in specific markets at given times. The platform, which will be launched later in the month, will look for customer’s orders so that larger trades may be created. Then, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) will seek to step in and fill orders that cannot be offset, or crossed.

This move is seen by analysts as one of the ways in which huge investment banks, like Goldman are trying to make sure that they adapt to a market that is getting tough due to greater restrictions that, seem to remove the role of middlemen- investment banks- in most credit markets.

Lastly, Bofa is holding talks with lawyers in a suit, brought forward by more than a thousand former brokers from Merrill Lynch & Co. The settlement that is probably being negotiated could see Bank of America pay up hundreds of millions of dollars.

The brokers left Merrill Lynch & Co. in 2009, after the firm was taken over by Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) and in the lawsuit they claim that they are now owed deferred compensation because of the deal. The suit was brought forward after the brokers learned of a similar case in which two brokers from Charlotte, N.C., Company were paid more than $11 million. It therefore remains to see, if the giant bank will be loosing some cash to pay up, the brokers.

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