Friday, October 13, 2006

Where the Power Lies on Wall Street

Investment banking has become less about offering sage transactional advice than it is about lending a Wall Street firm’s imprimatur to a deal, Carl Icahn, the activist investor, said last night on a panel that included Jonathan Knee, a managing director at Evercore Partners and author of the recently published book “The Accidental Investment Banker.”

Moderated by Michael Wolff of Vanity Fair, the panel was titled “Where Does the Power Lie on Wall Street?” and some of the answers to that question were rather eye-opening. The overarching issue on the table was whether hedge funds and private equity firms have supplanted investment banks as financial power brokers. Notably, the panel’s early working title was “Is Wall Street Irrelevant?”

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