Fundamental, Policy & Legal, Webinar

U.S. Banking State of Affairs – What a Difference a Year Makes!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024
11:00 am ET | 8:00 am PST | 4:00 pm GMT

Join CFRA's Director of Equity Research and Diversified Bank Analyst, Ken Leon, and CFRA's Regional Bank Equity Research Analyst, Zander Yokum, CFA, dove into investment views on various banks one year after the Silicon Valley Bank failure. They discussed their top-down view of the financial sector and provide specific recommendations on bank sub-industries and stocks.

Looking ahead to 2024, they examined the Federal Reserve's pivot from rate hikes to pause, then rate cuts, and its impact on the banks' loan activity and net interest income measures. Ken and Zander discussed the potential impact of any black swan events, including consumer loan quality and delinquencies, as well as distressed industries such as Commercial Real Estate (CRE).

In addition, Hugo Dante, Financial Services Policy Analyst, Vice President from Washington Analysis, A CFRA Business, guided us through the maze of federal bank policy and regulation. He focused on the proposed Basel III Endgame, which may require higher regulated capital levels for the largest banks. Hugo also provided his top list and insights on banking and other related new regulations. He explored whether there could be changes in leadership at the U.S. Department of Treasury, FDIC, or the Federal Reserve after the November elections.

This session detailed:

  • Investor view of the financial sector and key bank sub-industries.
  • A closer look at the regional banks' fundamental outlook a year after the banking crises.
  • Public policies and bank regulations that may impact U.S. banks or other related industries like asset management, wealth management, and payment firms.
  • Current investment views and STARS recommendations on select U.S. diversified and regional banks.


Ken Leon, CPA
Director of Equity Research and Diversified Bank Analyst
Ken Leon is Director of Equity Research at CFRA. He is responsible for analytical research as well as client servicing. Ken’s research industries as an equity analyst are the U.S. global banks and alternative asset managers in the financial sector, multifamily residential REITs, and movies & entertainment in the communications services sector. Ken is a thought leader that provides ongoing in-depth research and communications to key customer segments. He is active with most media networks and leading print media and is widely sought for his investment views on the large banks and capital market trends. Ken previously held the position of Global Director of Research and Industry Analyst for S&P Global Market Intelligence. Prior to joining CFRA in 2003, Ken spent over two decades in equity research with research leadership responsibilities at ABN Amro, Bear Stearns, and Lehman Brothers. He was a three-time Institutional Investor All-Star for his coverage of wireless telecommunications services, as one of the pioneers in this industry. Ken holds both a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA from New York University. He was also licensed in the State of New Jersey as a Certified Public Accountant.
Alexander Yokum, CFA
Regional Bank Equity Research Analyst
Alexander Yokum is an Equity Research Analyst at CFRA. Alexander is primarily responsible for covering Regional and Diversified Banks, including companies such as U.S. Bancorp, PNC, Truist, and the largest six banks in Canada. Alexander also follows Consumer Finance names such as American Express and Capital One. Finally, he tracks Financial Exchanges and Data, including names such as S&P Global, Moody’s, CME, and Nasdaq. Alexander is a CFA charter holder and obtained his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from North Carolina State University. He has a concentration in Finance, honors in Data Analytics, and a minor in Statistics. He graduated summa cum laude.
Hugo Dante
Financial Services Policy Analyst, Vice President
Hugo Dante joined Washington Analysis in July 2023 as Financial Services Policy Analyst, Vice President. Hugo focuses on financial services and housing policy. Prior to joining Washington Analysis, Hugo held a cross-functional role role at Amazon Web Services as Market Insights & GTM Analyst for the International Financials and Digital Assets team, where he designed and deployed global go-to-market strategies supporting public sector financial institutions as they leverage digital assets, AI, data analytics, and blockchain solutions. Before Amazon, Hugo served as an Economist for the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, covering housing, banking, financial services, cryptocurrencies, and general economic policy. He has also worked in the Office of the Chief Economist at the American Bankers Association, and as an MA Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Hugo is currently pursuing his PhD in Economics at George Mason University, after earning his Master of Arts (M.A.) in Economics from the same institution. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in General Chemistry from the University of North Alabama, Honors College.


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