By Steve Slater
LONDON (Reuters) - Standard Chartered (STAN.L) said it is considering replacing its banking advisers, UBS and JPMorgan, and has invited rival investment banks to pitch for the potentially lucrative business.
The Asia-focused bank, which is battling to turn around its business after a trio of profit warnings and a slump in its share price this year, has engaged UBS (UBSG.VX) and JPMorgan (JPM.N) as its corporate brokers for several years.
"We can confirm we’re conducting a review of our corporate broking relationships. The review will include our current brokers, and we will make an announcement in due course," said a spokesman for Standard Chartered.
UBS and JPMorgan declined to comment. Sources at other banks said other firms had pitched for the business.
Standard Chartered is heading for a second successive fall in annual profits this year, halting a decade of record earnings. Its shares are down 31 percent this year, raising the heat on Chief Executive Peter Sands.
Corporate brokers act as a link between a listed company and its investors. Chiefly a British business relationship, it can be a way into more lucrative advisory business, such as fundraising and mergers and acquisitions.
Bankers say several factors can prompt a company to review long-established relationships, including disappointment with advice or changes in personnel at the top of the listed company or within broking teams. Companies sometimes periodically review their brokers and do not change them.
One of UBS's most senior bankers, Tim Waddell, left the bank to join Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) in September, and had worked closely with Standard Chartered.
(Editing by Matt Scuffham, editing by Louise Heavens)