WSJ Wealth Adviser Briefing: Banks’ Loss Love, American Pension Peril, Fashion Week Buzz

The third quarter isn’t even over, but mergers and acquisitions involving registered investment advisor firms already have notched a quarterly record.

There have been 36 deals so far in the quarter, breaking the previous record of 35 set in the first quarter of this year, according to DeVoe & Co., a consulting firm and investment bank that focuses on the wealth management space.

Other deals that are in the works and could be announced or signed before quarter-end likely will lift the total to more than 40, the firm added.

Below, some of the best analysis and insight from WSJ writers and columnists, the Dow Jones Newswires team and occasionally beyond, on investing, the wealth-management business and more.

CORONAVIRUS OUTLOOK

Companies Adjust Earnings for Covid-19 Costs, but Are They Still a One-Time Expense?: Finance chiefs and investors are trying to figure out how to account for coronavirus-related expenses as the pandemic transforms how companies operate in ways that may become a permanent cost of doing business.

PLANNING & INVESTING

Banks Are Loving 2020 Market, but Market Doesn’t Love Them Backs: While investors are still sour on bank stocks, industry executives say parts of business are booming.

MARKET TALK

From Dow Jones Newswires

Societe Generale is considering the creation of a new retail bank in France by merging its two retail networks in the country, Credit du Nord and Societe Generale, and such move would be positive, UBS says. The merger could deliver cost synergies over the years, it says. “Such a project would be welcome, in our view, particularly in light of the drag coming from persistently low interest rates,” the Swiss bank says. “In our view, the bulk of the potential cost synergies that could materialize from this merger project are more likely to come from a reduction in branches and staff rather than from savings on infrastructure and IT, we think.”(pietro.lombardi@dowjones.com; @pietrolombard10)

U.K. house-building shares are too cheap to ignore despite short-term uncertainty, says Jefferies, pointing to Persimmon, Barratt Developments and Berkeley Group Holdings as its top sector picks. “With construction looking un-impacted by the latest Covid measures and housing-market strength providing increasing comfort on the sustainability of demand, we see the U.K. housebuilders as oversold,” says analyst Glynis Johnson. “News flow on Covid, Brexit, stamp duty and help to buy changes will likely create share-price volatility near term. Nonetheless, we see current share-price weakness as presenting a great entry point for our key picks.” (philip.waller@wsj.com)

BUSINESS & PRACTICE

America’s Pensions Have Been Shunning Stocks at Their Own Peril: Pension funds and endowments have been shifting away from the U.S. stock market for years. Some are now reconsidering that decision.

IMPACT INVESTING

50 Years After Milton Friedman, Companies Wrestle With Wider Purpose: Milton Friedman’s famous pronouncement that the social responsibility of a business is to increase profits has led to companies maximizing short-term profits, aided a dramatic increase in global income inequality, and contributed to global warming.

TALKING POINTS

Firms Conduct ‘War Games’ to Prepare for External Threats: Amid trade-war threats, geopolitical uncertainty and the global coronavirus pandemic, such gaming has become more popular.

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

Fashion Week Is Actually Happening—at Least in Paris and Milan: Some of the biggest luxury fashion brands are gingerly stepping back on to Europe’s catwalks, deciding that front-row buzz is worth the complications of hosting an audience during the coronavirus pandemic.

ADVISER CALENDAR

– Endowment and Foundation Forum/ Oct. 1/ Virtual

– ESG Investment North America Summit/ Oct. 13-14/ Virtual

– The Family Office Wealth Conference/ Oct. 13-15/ Virtual

– 2020 NAPFA Fall Conference / Oct. 21-23/ Virtual

– Impact Investing Forum/ Nov. 10/ Virtual

ABOUT US

The Wealth Adviser Briefing covers topics of interest to wealth managers, financial planners and other advisers. The content is curated by the Dow Jones Newswires team using articles from the Newswires, Barron’s, MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal. The briefing is delivered to subscribers by email each workday morning at 6:30 a.m. ET. You can sign up here for email delivery.

For more information about our services for financial professionals, please visit our website.

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