In a move that could foreshadow banks' struggle to shift staff to Europe ahead of Brexit, Dutch bank ING has been very busy hiring traders in London. The recruitment spree follows last year's news that (irrespective of Brexit) ING was planning to shift between 50 and 60 trading jobs from Amsterdam and Brussels to London. Headhunters suggest that quite a few of the bank's traders in the two cities didn't want to be uprooted.
ING's hires include: Stephane Siffredi, a director in rates and inflation trading who was last employed at RBC Capital Markets in 2015; Luke Negal, a former government bond trader at Morgan Stanley and RBS, who left RBS in November 2016 and joined in ING in August; Akash Garg, a junior emerging markets credit trader from Merrill Lynch, who joined in July; Gurchetan Lakhmana, a former VP in rates and FX trading from RBS who joined in September; and Gregory Nys, a European government bond trader from Credit Agricole, who joined in April.
A spokesperson for ING said the bank is, "relocating many colleagues from Amsterdam and Brussels," and that, "some hires are being made locally from London’s expert talent pool in trading." She added that ING is already seeing the benefit of, "bringing together the products, knowledge and experiences from London, Brussels and Amsterdam."
Headhunters suggest the bank's new recruits in London follow some traders' unwillingness to displace their families from Europe. "There are traders who didn't want to move for personal reasons," says Christian Robbins at Tradestone Search.
Sources also suggest that some senior traders at ING were asked to accept UK employment contracts, and chose not to.
When it was announced last year, ING's decision to move trading staff to London was said to be unrelated to Brexit and simply part of a plan to streamline its trading operation. At the time, ING's CEO Ralph Hamers was quoted as saying the bank would probably have to review its activities as the effects of Brexit became clearer. ING's new London traders could yet, therefore, find themselves moved to the EU - or ditched for any traders ING's left behind.
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