Credit Suisse has just made a senior trading hire for its bond market business in London. Sammy Mohammad, who has spent the past three years working for boutique investment bank Stormharbour Securities, has joined the Swiss bank as a managing director.
Senior hires at Credit Suisse in London are all too rare currently, as the Swiss bank continues to reduce headcount in the UK. Last October, Credit Suisse promised to cut 30% of its London-based headcount in an effort to pare back costs. These cuts have come in phases, affecting different units in London but almost always falling within its global markets division, rather than within its investment bank.
This makes the timing of Mohammad's hire all the more strange, but the senior trader with a specialism in structured finance and government bonds joined Credit Suisse earlier this month. He had signed up to Stormharbour Securities in 2013 as a partner focusing on bond markets and financial engineering. Before that, he worked at Deutsche Bank as a managing director from April 2004 to February 2012.
For the past 18 years, Mohammad has combined his senior trading roles with a lecturer position at Université Paris-Dauphine, where he teaches on the Masters of Finance and Management courses. He is a graduate of this university.
Credit Suisse said in September that it would continue to cut costs in its global markets division. CEO Tidjane Thiam said that it would be "focusing our scarce capital on key client relationships". In other words, clients which eat up capital but offer little in the way of profits would be scaled back. Credit Suisse has already fired 50 people in its equities team and pared back its rates team. More recently, cuts have focused on continuing to move prime broking jobs out of London towards Ireland and losing senior staff in equity research.
Mohammad's recruitment is therefore a relative rarity in the UK markets division, particularly at such a senior level. Credit Suisse is due to report its third quarter results next week, but in Q2 it revealed that around 1,250 people had departed its UK operation throughout the course of 2016. However, despite the fact that job cuts have predominantly hit its global markets business, overall headcount in the division had increased by 150 people year on year.