So far this year, Wells-Wachovia has slipped to 35, performing eight deals worth $920 million through June 26. That compares with 42 deals worth $71.3 billion for all of last year. Top firms like Goldman, JPMorgan, BofA-Merrill, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank (DB) have also seen a decline, but not nearly as sharp.
"Wells is out of their league on this one," says Munson. "I think they're trying to be a Bank of America, and that's a mistake. There's only room for one Bank of America and one JPMorgan and one Goldman Sachs."
Whether Wells will be able to find its niche in the investment banking space is yet to be seen. It will take a good deal of time to solidify a reputation for the brand that is to be unveiled in coming days. Juneja, the JPMorgan analyst, noted that since Wells is moving forward with its Wells-like limitations, "it will have to be a market maker in the products it focuses on."
Tried and true believers have faith that the firm will succeed.Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities, calls the integration "a sizable challenge," but says the Wachovia acquisition was "the right move," largely because of its capital markets business and gigantic sales force. "Wells management has a long track record of delivering on its promises ... Plus, betting on Wells abilities has always made sense and it makes sense now," Bove wrote in a report earlier this year.