Alexis Besse is no more. The head of EMEA fixed income structuring at UBS has sloped off to do something completely different. No announcements, no fanfare; he's gone.
Like many before him, Besse is off to a fintech start-up. His very own fintech start-up, no less. And like plenty of other ex-bankers' fintech start-ups, Besse's is in the direct lending sector.
Called QBridge, it promises to be a, "cross-border investment platform," based on the direct lending model. Besse's public profile says he's, "passionate about... the new fields of data science and machine learning," so this might be incorporated somewhere.
It's not clear when Besse left UBS, but we assume it was recently as QBridge was only incorporated in October.
Besse's exit comes after Andrea Orcel, CEO of UBS's investment bank promised that cuts there were over. Orcel's promise seemed a little premature, however: the cost ratio at UBS's investment bank stood at nearly 90% in the first nine months of this year.
A graduate of France's Ecole nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration économique, Besse only joined UBS in 2012 after seven years at BAML, where he was most recently head of rates and currencies structuring. At the time, UBS heralded his arrival as the start of a new team of cross-asset structuring specialists.
2016 has been a good year for banks' fixed income traders and 2017 is likely to continue in the same vein. However, banks are looking to cut costs. Structured credit professionals who lose their jobs and don't want to start their own fintech firms could cast an eye at Nomura, which just hired Dimitrios Vlachos as an associate in structured credit trading from Credit Suisse, and may be opportunistically hiring.