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FirstFT: Boutique bank Centerview rockets up the charts

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Boutique advisory firm Centerview Partners has rocketed up the closely scrutinised league tables ranking deal activity on Wall Street and in Europe after advising on some of the biggest takeovers of the quarter.

Centerview, which has advised on 18 deals totalling nearly $94bn so far this year, rose to third place from 14th place in the same quarter last year.

The bank, which was launched in 2006 by investment bankers Blair Effron and Robert Pruzan, has expertise in bank restructuring.

US regulators turned to Centerview following the run on deposits at Silicon Valley Bank to manage the sale of assets, including the investment bank. It also played a key role advising on the $3.25bn sale of Credit Suisse to UBS.

Many large Wall Street banks were conflicted in the recent bank deals, creating an opening for independent advisers like Centerview.

Here’s what else I’m watching today:

  • Economic data: The US releases gross domestic product figures for the fourth quarter of 2022.

  • Monetary policy: Susan Collins, president of the Boston branch of the Federal Reserve, Richmond Fed president Tom Barkin and Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari are all scheduled to speak at public events today.

  • Janet Yellen: The US Treasury secretary will also speak today at the National Association of Business Economics’ annual conference in Washington.

  • Nato enlargement: Turkey’s parliament will vote to approve Finland’s membership of the Atlantic military alliance.

What did you think of today’s FirstFT? Let us know at Thanks for reading.

Five more top stories

1. EXCLUSIVE: Meta executives are discussing a company-wide ban on political advertising in Europe, according to people briefed on the talks. The owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp is concerned that new EU laws coming into force next year that will make online political campaigning more transparent are too broad. Read more about the EU’s proposals.

2. Russia’s security service said it detained a Wall Street Journal reporter in the city of Ekaterinburg on suspicion of spying. Evan Gershkovich was reportedly looking into the Wagner mercenary group and was planning to meet contacts in Ekaterinburg, the largest city in Russia’s central Urals region.

3. Binance hid substantial links to China for several years, according to internal company documents seen by the Financial Times, including an office it used in the country until at least the end of 2019 and a bank that was used to pay some employees.

4. Bernie Sanders accused Starbucks founder and billionaire Howard Schultz of leading an unprecedented crusade of “illegal union-busting” at the coffee chain in a two-hour Senate face-off. Read more on the tense showdown.

5. Ecuador’s constitutional court last night gave the go-ahead for impeachment proceedings to begin against President Guillermo Lasso. The decision leaves one of Latin America’s few market-friendly presidents facing trial before a hostile congress. Read more on the charges against Lasso.

News in-depth

FT montage
© FT montage/Dreamstime

The end of historically low interest rates was billed as good news for banks, but recent crises on both sides of the Atlantic show the reality is more complex, upending conventional wisdom. We break down the new threats and challenges at banks as interest rates rise.

We’re also reading . . . 

  • China’s regulatory shake-up: China has some of the same vulnerabilities in its globally important financial system as the US and Europe, writes George Magnus.

  • ‘Total distrust’: In wartime Russia, teachers, neighbours and even family members are informing on each other in Soviet-style denunciations.

  • Opinion: ‘Succession’ is a triumph that may bookend the ‘peak TV’ era, argues Anna Nicolaou.

Chart of the day

Shares in European property groups are on track for their worst month since the start of the pandemic, as investors bet that weeks of banking turmoil will tighten access to credit and send property valuations plummeting.

Line chart of MSCI Europe Real Estate index showing Investors are betting against European property

Take a break from the news

A giant of 20th-century art, Pablo Picasso has influenced generations of artists and his work still commands huge prices — but things have changed. Described by the New York Times as “the greatest single force in 70 years” when he died, what has happened to the Spanish artist’s reputation 50 years on?

© François Pagès/Paris Match/Getty Images

Additional contributions by Tee Zhuo and Emily Goldberg

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