INVESTMENT BANKS AND BROKERAGE HOUSES
Puerto Rico's "Wall Streeters" are breathing easier these days, at least compared to their state at about this time last year. In fact, 1990 as a whole was a year most of them would just as soon forget. Last year saw the fewest government bond issues and the least corporate finance activity - the bread and butter business of investment banking - since the recessionary years of the early 1980s.
Today, with the U.S. and Puerto Rico economies starting to emerge out of the latest recession, the island's investment bankers are seeing a corresponding pick-up in their business.
"There's definitely more movement," said Jose Ramon Gonzalez, president of First Boston (P.R.), Inc. and president of the Puerto Rico Securities Industry Association. "Not only are we getting more deals, but many of the ones we had last year that were put on hold because of the economy are now being worked on again."
Retail brokerage houses, or the side of the investment industry that handles accounts for individuals and for companies, felt the recession's sting less than the institutional side, …