Reputation Bragging Rights
Reputation scorecards or league tables are getting more competitive. Today’s Financial Times (21 December 2006) reported how Citigroup and its rivals (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers) are duking it out over who is going to get last minute credit in the league tables over the Statoil–Hydro merger. Apparently Citigroup hurriedly offered to write up a fairness opinion for Hydro to boost its ranking (so says informants). Citigroup is now in second place, lagging behind Morgan Stanley who has advised the most companies in Europe in 2006. Goldman is in third place. As the year comes to a close, the fight for “bragging rights” among these financial heavyweights heats up to a boil.
Reputation scorecards, league tables or “best of” lists are important for companies to market themselves. As third-party endorsements, they are extremely valuable and a popular way to build reputation.
I bet that Statoil had no idea that their surprise $30 billion merger would create such a race to the top. Only five more business days to the final close.