In a sign that the sliced FICC desks of investment banks in Asia are now being replenished, Goldman Sachs has hired two new executive directors (EDs) into its Asian macro sales and trading team.
Steve Ji Xu, a former Asia emerging markets FX trader at J.P. Morgan, has joined Goldman as a macro trader in Hong Kong. Xu has reached ED level at Goldman just six years after graduating from NYU Stern School of Business with a degree in finance and statistics, according to his online profile.
Meanwhile, Singapore-based Kevin Feng has moved to Goldman to work in south Asia macro sales. He previously spent more than 11 years at Citi in Singapore, first in relationship management and then (from 2012) in Asia Pacific institutional eFX sales, according to his profile.
“Goldman Sachs knows this space is starting to heat up in Asia,” says trader-turned-headhunter Matthew Hoyle, director of Matthew Hoyle Financial Markets in Hong Kong. “Macro trading has been underperforming in recent years, but now some astute firms are adding more macro talent in Asia.”
So far this year, however, most of the recruitment has come on the buy-side. “We’ve received numerous requests from major hedge funds to hire macro portfolio managers in the past few months. They’re hiring in discretionary global macro and systematic global macro," says Hoyle.
Macro traders base their strategies on underlying macroeconomic data and trends. “Financial institutions are increasingly of the opinion that some big themes in Asia will emerge in the future and that hiring macro traders is a good way to capitalise on them,” says Hoyle. “It also helps their other PMs to have a good idea of what the macro landscape looks like.”
Hedge funds might look to hire from Goldman. The US bank’s Asian macro traders have made a habit of shifting to the buy-side over the past two years.
In 2015, Stuart Riley, Asia Pacific co-head of macro trading at Goldman, joined Rokos Capital Management as a founding partner, while Goldman MD and macro trader Amit Bansal moved to Pharo Management as a portfolio manager.
Another former Goldman macro co-head, Leland Lim, shuttered the fund he founded, Guard Capital Management, last year following a slump in returns.
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