The IB Revival

Investment banking is on a comeback, Ted Pick is bullish on M&A, investors are most bullish in over two years, PRINCO blundered their PE allocation, Shell’s ex-CEO will advise KKR on ESG, and Caitlin Clark’s rookie contract matches that of a Deloitte analyst.

Together with

Good Morning,

Investment banking is on a comeback, Ted Pick is bullish on M&A, investors are most bullish in over two years, PRINCO blundered their PE allocation, Shell’s ex-CEO will advise KKR on ESG, and Caitlin Clark’s rookie contract matches that of a Deloitte analyst.

Check out Plaid’s report on how AI is impacting your susceptibility to ID fraud…and what you can do to prevent it.

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 04/16/2024 market close.


  • US stocks wobbled to a mixed close yesterday as investors weighed a resilient economy against persistent inflation

  • UK's FTSE 100 and Europe's Stoxx 600 fell 1.5%+ in their worst day in nine months 

  • US yields hit new five-month highs

  • Bullish options bets on oil surged to a record after Iran's attack on Israel 

  • Dollar hit a five-month high versus the euro


  • Morgan Stanley reported better-than-expected Q1 earnings thanks to a resurgence in IB and growth in its wealth management (RT

  • Bank of America beat Q1 earnings and revenue estimates on the back of strong interest income and IB activity but warned of souring loans from consumers whose finances are worsening (CNBC

  • Johnson & Johnson beat Q1 profit estimates and narrowly outpaced drug sales expectations (BBG

  • UnitedHealth Group shares rose ~5% after reporting better-than-expected Q1 earnings and revenue despite fallout from a cyberattack (CNBC

  • United Airlines shares jumped 6% after reporting a smaller-than-expected adjusted loss and revenue that beat estimates and forecasting above-estimate Q2 earnings resolving concerns of delivery delays (CNBC

  • What we're watching this week: 

    • Today: ASML

    • Thursday: TSMC, Netflix, Blackstone

    • Friday: American Express, P&G

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • J Pow dialed back expectations on rate cuts (WSJ)

  • IB bounceback powers big US lenders (WSJ)

  • Morgan Stanley CEO said 'existential' need for M&A will revive IB (FT)

  • PRINCO CIO sees 'worst ever' PE climate (FT)

  • Investors are most bullish in over two years (RT)

  • US banking giants continued to cut employees in Q1 (RT)

  • Hedge funds reduced bearish bets in US Treasuries (RT)

  • Asia hedge funds benefited from Japan's rally and China's recovery in Q1 (RT)

  • Repeat offenders made up 40% of US corporate defaults in 2023 (RT)

  • Shell ex-CEO to advise KKR on green investments (FT)

  • China's GDP grew of 5.3% YoY in Q1, smashing estimates (RT)

  • US manufacturing output increased in February and March (RT)

  • BlackRock’s CEO said AI will boost productivity and worker pay (BBG)

  • Canada hiked capital gains tax to raise billions for housing (BBG)

  • Boeing fired lobbying firm that helped it navigate 737 crashes (BBG)

  • PwC named new heads of global audit and advisory units (WSJ)

  • Planet Fitness named Colleen Keating as new CEO (CNBC)

  • China's new home prices decline at fastest pace since 2015 (RT)

  • Samsung overtook as Apple as top phone maker (RT)

  • Denmark’s historic stock exchange blew up (literally) (FT)

  • Caitlin Clark's rookie contract is only $76k (WSJ)

A Message From Plaid

Can You Identify A Deepfake?

Chances are, probably not (and you’re not alone).

As AI gets increasingly sophisticated, identity verification is becoming harder – and by extension, more important – than ever. 

But before you start stressing over what solutions work best, which vendors can you trust, and where your business should focus, take a deep breath and check out this free report courtesy of Plaid.

This free guide covers everything you need to know about identity verification from the biggest emerging trends in fraud (impact of AI) to the most relevant solutions; so you can future-proof your business like the best of them.

The report is totally free to download. So show Plaid (and us) some love by clicking that link and giving it a look. You won’t regret it. 

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • International Paper agreed to acquire DS Smith in a $7.2B all-stock deal to create a global leader in packaging (BBG)

  • US software provider Envestnet, which has a $3.4B market cap, is exploring options including a potential sale after receiving takeover interest (RT

  • Denmark's Saxo Bank is exploring a possible sale that could value the group at $1.6B-$2.1B (RT

  • Microsoft agreed to partner with and invest $1.5B into Abu Dhabi AI company G42 (BBG

  • PE firm Permira is considering a sale of specialty chemicals manufacturer CABB for over $1.06B (BBG

  • Kimmeridge Energy Management withdrew its merger proposal to combine its gas-producing assets in South Texas with $813M SilverBow Resources (RT

  • Investment firm Riverside is exploring strategic options including a sale of its direct lending arm Riverside Credit Solutions (BBG

  • Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi agreed to merge its US unit into Victory Capital Holdings in exchange for a 26.1% stake in the combined entity (BBG

  • Bundesliga team Eintracht Frankfurt is exploring another potential tie-up with a USL team being formed in Milwaukee (BBG


  • Business software startup Rippling is in talks to raise $500M at a $13B-$14B valuation in a funding round (BBG

  • Chip startup Rivos raised a $250M+ Series A extension led by Matrix Capital Management (TC)

  • Therapist network Two Chairs raised a $72M Series C led by Amplo and Fifth Down Capital (TC)

  • AI startup Upstage raised a $72M Series B from SK Networks, KT, and others (FN)

  •, an indoor journey analytics startup, raised a $47.5M Series C led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management (VC)

  • Bcomp, a Swiss startup using natural fibers to create sustainable, lightweight materials, raised a $40M Series C led by EGS Beteiligungen (EU)

  • Quilt, a startup building a new heat pump, raised a $33M Series A led by Energy Impact Partners and Galvanize Climate Solutions (TC)

  • Gifting platform Snappy raised a $25M Series D led by Qumra Capital (PRN)

  • Loft Labs, a startup building a virtualization tool for Kubernetes clusters, raised a $24M Series A led by Khosla Ventures (TC)

  • Bridgewise, an AI-based analysis platform for securities, raised a $21M round led by SIX Group (FN)

  • Vidyard, a video messaging platform, raised $15M in funding led by Export Development Canada (BW)

  • SaaS compliance software provider for healthcare facilities RFX Solutions raised a $9M Series A led by Arthur Ventures (BW)

  • Indaband, a social media app for musicians and singers, raised a $7M seed round from Monashees, Astella, Upload Ventures, and more (TC)

  • BreachRx, an incident response platform, raised a $6.5M seed round led by SYN Ventures (BW)

  • Inference Labs, a startup combining AI with Web3 technologies, raised a $2.3M pre-seed round led by Digital Asset Capital Management, Delphi Ventures, and Mechanism Capital (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Bain Capital proposed an IPO of Japanese computer memory manufacturer Kioxia Holdings to help it refinance a $5.8B loan due in June (RT

  • Microsoft-backed cybersecurity software firm Rubrik is seeking a $5.44B valuation in its US IPO (RT

  • Ibotta, the digital marketing company backed by Walmart, is seeking to raise up to $551M at a  $2.55B valuation in an upsized US IPO (RT

  • France's Planisware launched a local IPO valuing the software company at $1.2B, the largest Paris IPO since 2021 (RT)  

  • Spinneys 1961 Holding, a franchisee of Middle East supermarket chain Spinneys, is planning a Dubai IPO (RT)


  • Packaging firm Ardagh Group reached a deal with Apollo Global Management for over $1.1B in new debt to repay existing liabilities (BBG)

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Red Lobster is considering a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to restructure debt (BBG

  • Troubled British clothing retailer Superdry plans to quit the LSE as it pushes through a radical restructuring (BBG


  • a16z raised $7.2B for new funds split between growth, AI infrastructure, AI apps, and ‘American Dynamism’ (AX

  • Evolution Equity Partners raised $1.1B for its Evolution Technology Fund III to make  growth investments in cybersecurity and AI firms (WSJ

  • Chevron’s venture arm launched its third fun to invest in clean energy technologies (BBG

  • VC SOSV closed its latest fund at $306M to invest in early-stage deep tech (TC

  • Climate investor Bay Bridge Ventures is raising $200M for a new climate fund (TC

  • Maven Ventures raised $60M for a fourth consumer tech fund (TC)

Crypto Corner

  • Crypto exchange is seeking to expand its headcount by 1.4k (BBG

Exec’s Picks

Litney Partners - Financial Recruiting 💼💼

If you're currently a junior investment banker looking to break into the buy side, considering lateraling to another investment bank, or have recently been impacted by widespread layoffs, it's time you check out Litney Partners, a partnership between Litquidity and Whitney Partners (the oldest purely financial services executive search and consulting firm).

We aim to place strong candidates at leading private equity, hedge fund, venture capital, growth equity, and credit funds, as well as investment banks.

To get started, simply head over to the Litney website and create your profile by dropping your resume / filling out the form:

Meme Cleanser

Join the conversation

or to participate.