Swedbank’s First Securities receives top ranking

First Securities, the Norwegian investment firm wholly owned by Sweden’s Swedbank, took six top slots for analysis and equity broking in Norwegian financial magazine Kapital’s annual ranking.

The annual ranking is based on a survey among Norway’s largest institutional and private investors. First Securities won the following categories: best macro analyst, Harald Magnus Andreassen; best strategy analyst, Peter Hermanrud; best credit analyst, Pål Ringholm; best industrial and commodity analyst, Hans Erik Jacobsen; best equity broker, Paal Myhr Vang; best trading desk.

Peter Hermanrud and Pål Ringholm are ranked respectively second and third in the category ‘best overall analyst’, while Peter Hermanrud ranked third in the category ‘Consumer, Shipping, Media and Biotechnology’.

Jörgen Pleym Ulvness, head of investment banking, Swedbank, said: “This is the result of hard and persistent work among our employees in Norway. First Securities has always been characterised by unique competence. This, in combination with our business driven advisory culture and Swedbank’s strong balance sheet, will add to a strong Nordic analysis service when Swedbank now builds an investment banking operation. These components are imperative when competing for the largest clients and the most complex transactions.”

Sindre Støer, head of research, Swedbank, added: “We will continue the development of a Nordic/Baltic research department with the clear ambition of being regarded as a top three provider of analysis services for our prioritised clients. Further, we want to draw upon the successful advisory process in our Norwegian organisation and implement it in the rest of the organisation.

“Advisory based on top class research will be the cornerstone of our client offering. A good research product is also important in order to be attractive for international clients and to gain assignments within corporate finance. It is foremost within these areas that we want to grow going forward.”

First Securities has about 230 employees in Norway, including its branch offices in Bergen and Stavanger. Swedbank AB owns 100% of the shares in First Securities as of November 2010, when it completed the buyout of a 49% stake held by minority employee shareholders.

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