One of the most senior and popular managing directors in Barclays' U.S. equities business is quitting. Johnny Wu had worked for Barclays for 12 years and is now off in search of, "new challenges that lie ahead."
Wu announced his exit via a post on LinkedIn, which has attracted 400+ likes. An equity derivatives salesman by trade, he joined Barclays in NYC from Bear Stearns in 2005 as an equity structured products assistant director as the British bank built out its U.S. equity linked instruments team. He became an MD in 2009 and was promoted to equities and funds structured sales for the Americas in 2014.
It's not clear what Wu's off to do next, but he's won't be the only equity derivatives professional out of the market. As we reported last week, both HSBC and Morgan Stanley have been letting go of equity derivatives index traders after a difficult start to the year.
Wu's exit appears to have been entirely voluntary and was likely negotiated with Barclays, whose bonuses have yet to hit employees' bank accounts. In a blog post after his exit, Wu stressed the need to be likeable when you work in finance: "...say hello first in the hallways or help people even if there is no immediate benefit for you." If you care about clients' as individuals, they'll remember you later, said Wu, whilst also extolling the virtues of knowing your enemy (in his case, Goldman Sachs, followed by J.P. Morgan, followed by hedge fund AQR).
Barclays' global equities business under-performed the market in 2016 and is expected to be shaken up by Tim Throsby, the former J.P. Morgan equities banker now in charge of Barclays' investment bank. Throsby is widely expected to hire ex-J.P. Morgan people into Barclays' roles, although Barclays' insiders tell us he's been banned from doing so - possibly as a result of the terms of his exit contract with J.P. Morgan.