JPMorgan trader put on leave — lenders unload hotel loans — SoFi applies for bank charter


Welcome to Wall Street Insider, where we take you behind the scenes of the finance team’s biggest scoops and deep dives from the past week. 

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With a travel-industry slump looking like it could stretch on for months or even years, lenders are beginning to sell debt tied to distressed hotel properties. It’s a big change in posture for these firms, which had been wary to sell loans at discounts earlier on in the pandemic.

Dan Geiger mapped out this new trickle of deals, and explained why we could see a surge to billions of dollars in sales in the coming months as more lenders seek to cut ties with bad loans within the lodging sector.

Read the full story here: 

A growing group of lenders are looking to unload hundreds of millions of dollars of souring hotel loans. Teams hired to sell the portfolios say it’s just the beginning of a surge in activity.

We also had a pair of scoopy trader stories on Friday. Here’s a roundup in case you missed it:

  • Dakin Campbell learned that JPMorgan has placed its top US Treasuries trader on leave amid a compliance review of electronic messages. Earlier this year, the bank removed a handful of interest-rates traders — at least two in New York and one in London — from the floor and turned off their Bloomberg terminals while it investigated their behavior.
  • Alex Morrell reported that Bank of America has poached a top junk-bond trader from Deutsche Bank, leveling up in one of 2020’s red-hot trading markets.

Keep reading for a peek inside Goldman Sachs’ first in-person board meeting since the pandemic began; a look at the executives who are driving Amex’s digital strategy as e-commerce booms; and to learn why SoFi CEO Anthony Noto is so excited about the fintech applying for a national banking charter.

Have a great weekend, 


SoFi makes another go at starting its own bank

Getty Images/ Brian Ach

The personal-finance startup SoFi has filed an application for a national bank charter with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Dan DeFrancesco first reported. Approval would allow the fintech to lend money and accept deposits on its own. 

Anthony Noto, SoFi’s CEO, highlighted three benefits of a national charter when announcing the application to employees in a company-wide email.

Read the full story here: 

SoFi just filed an application for a national banking charter, and CEO Anthony Noto told employees it’s a critical strategic step for the $4.3 billion fintech

Wells Fargo shakes up marketing 

Ryan Welsh/Flickr

Wells Fargo is shaking up marketing operations and plans to eliminate its centralized CMO role, Rebecca Ungarino reported. The moves underline the personnel and organizational changes CEO Charlie Scharf has ushered in at Wells Fargo, which he joined last fall after leading Bank of New York Mellon. 

Since a sales-practices scandal erupted in late 2016, the bank has gone through two CEOs before Scharf took over last year. In 2017, Wells Fargo unveiled a marketing campaign with the tagline “Building a Better Bank,” and a year later released the tagline “Established 1852. Re-established 2018.” 

Read the full story here:

Wells Fargo’s longtime CMO will leave her role as part of a bigger marketing shakeup across the bank

Goldman Sachs restarts in-person board meetings

Reuters / Shannon Stapleton

As Dakin Campbell reports, Goldman Sachs has held its first in-person board meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began. About half of the company’s board attended last week’s meetings, including Chairman and CEO David Solomon. Other Goldman execs were also in attendance.

Several of the attendees chose not to wear masks inside the meeting room, Dakin learned. Others across Wall Street, including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Citigroup, continue to hold meetings virtually.

Read the full story here: 

Inside Goldman Sachs’ first in-person board meeting since the pandemic began

Power players leading Amex’s digital strategy

American Express; Yuqing Liu/Business Insider

The adoption of digital payments has taken off amid the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers look to avoid cash. American Express, both a card network and credit issuer, is riding the digital wave with products like contactless cards, partnerships with players like Venmo, and QR codes to pay.

From fraud monitoring to credit decisioning to exploring new ways to pay, Shannen Balogh took a look at the power players leading Amex’s digital push.

Read the full story here: 

Meet the 11 American Express execs tasked with helping the card giant keep pace with the e-commerce boom

On the move

Bank of America continues to shake up its dealmaking team that focuses on M&A in the finance sector. After less than a year leading banking M&A at Credit Suisse, Jerry Wiant is packing up again to join the team at Bank of America, where he’ll run coverage of banks and specialty finance in the Americas. 

Index Ventures; Fast; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

One-click checkout startup Fast raised its $20 million Series A from investors including Index Ventures and fintech Stripe in May as it looks to take on Apple Pay to solve pain-points around password management and online checkout.

Join Business Insider reporter Shannen Balogh on Tuesday, July 14 at 1:30 p.m ET when she will speak with Domm Holland, Fast’s co-founder and CEO, and Jan Hammer, general partner at Index Venture. They’ll discuss how Holland came up with the idea for Fast, how to build a pitch deck, and what it takes to win over investors.

If you’re a Business Insider subscriber, you can sign up here.

PPP loans, revealed 

  • Multimillionaire and Highland Capital founder James Dondero’s investment platform managing billions got approved for as much as $8 million in loans from the PPP
  • Inside the legal industry’s reaction as it deals with the messy optics of white-shoe law firms taking PPP money


  • How Postmates went from multiple IPO setbacks to a $2.65 billion takeover by Uber

Private equity and investing

  • The CEO of an Apollo-backed energy company may face charges for pulling a gun on a Mexican American couple that took a wrong turn near his Colorado home
  • Private-equity firms’ cybersecurity defense has lagged. Here’s what makes them attractive targets — and what they can do to protect themselves, according to experts.
  • Here’s how Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge offloaded stakes in 2 funds after credit markets seized up

Real estate

  • Commercial real-estate hiring is heating back up. 4 recruiters lay out the exec roles they’re trying to fill.
  • Lenders are balking at financing mega commercial real-estate deals 
  • Women-focused coworking startup The Wing is almost $270,000 behind on rent and other charges at its Bryant Park location in New York, according to lawsuit
  • Some short-term rental startups like Sonder and CorpHousing say they’re bargain-hunting for new locations to bet on an eventual travel recovery
  • WeWork faces 3 new discrimination and harassment lawsuits, including a complaint that says a manager brought knives and a crossbow to work
  • A top Americas exec at commercial real-estate giant Cushman & Wakefield is out
  • Knotel is facing claims of $230,000 in unpaid rent and construction bills at one Atlanta location, adding to a growing list of legal woes for the flex-space firm

Payments and fintech

  • The head of Amex Digital Labs lays out the card giant’s innovation strategy, and explains why the future is partnering with tech giants like Apple and Google
  • Meet the fintech that nabbed $50 million in funding from Alphabet, where customers text it money questions and choose what they pay
  • Fintech investors say the Wirecard scandal will put increased regulatory pressure on payments companies and stymie growth for startups
  • Rivals Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are partnering up for one-click checkouts to compete with the likes of Apple Pay and PayPal as e-commerce booms

Pitch decks

  • Here’s the pitch deck an app helping new families save used to raise a $9 million Series A from NBA all-star Baron Davis and Anthos Capital
  • Here’s the pitch deck used to raise a $4.4 million seed round for an AI chatbot looking to transform how people find apartments

Read More


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