A whole new FX-focused bank has opened in London, and other stories of big hiring in FX businesses

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Tens of thousands of jobs may be disappearing in the City of London, but there is still hiring in FX.

Swiss-based online FX trading specialist MIG Capital announced the opening of its new office in the City last week. The FSA register shows that MIG currently employs only four registered people in the City, but MIG tells us it will be hiring some more people soon.

There are also signs of frenetic hiring elsewhere in FX. While other business areas have a hiring freeze, or a one in one out policy, or find it impossible to get sign-off, FX businesses are going through the usual hiring carousel. Euromoney’s list of FX people moves demonstrates the vibrancy of FX recruitment:  Credit Suisse is building, BNP is hiring, Commerzbank has set up a new FX quant team, Nomura is hiring, Barclays is hiring; the list goes on.  Goldman Sachs is understood to be hiring too, although it's also made some FX redundancies.

“All banks recognise that FX is a business area they can invest in,” says Christian Robbins at Nicholas Scott Executive Search. “FX is less impacted by the new regulations than other asset classes.”

Sergio Ermotti said as much during last week’s UBS conference call. Everyone’s trying to expand into FX as it’s a relatively low capital intensity business, said Sergio. UBS is trying to defend its market share.

The latest Euromoney FX ranking reveals that UBS has just about maintained its market share in FX sales and trading. This year, it’s got 10.48% of the global total; last year it had 10.6%. The market leaders are: Deutsche (14.6%), Citi (12.3%) and BarCap (10.95%). Citigroup, in particular appears to be on a roll, having gone from 7th to 1st in the UK real money market.

“Our goal is to be the top foreign-exchange provider in the market place, and we are trying to get there,” Jeff Feig, global head of Group of 10 foreign exchange at Citigroup in London, told Bloomberg. “We are investing and growing our business.”

The MD of another search firm says a lot of the FX hiring happening now revolves around electronic trading and sales. “In this environment,  you will only hire someone with an established client base and a very high chance of success,” he says.

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