These are hard times for fixed income currencies and commodities bankers. Commodities traders are being made redundant and fixed income revenues are under pressure. Rates traders look especially challenged – Deutsche Bank is forecasting a 7% decline in rates revenues in 2014. Worst of all, the Tabb Group is forecasting a 45% drop in revenues earned from interest rate swaps next year as swaps trading goes electronic.
Where does this leave the poor old rates trader? More redundancies seem inevitable. The best rates traders may, however, want to beat a path to Nomura. As we’ve noted on various occasions, the Japanese bank’s entire markets business is run by the top rates trader Steve Ashley. Under Ashley, Financial News points out this morning that Nomura has more than doubled its market share in fixed income in recent years and has increased revenues faster than rivals in 2013.
Separately, any Barclays bankers who were hoping to get in with ex-Barclays CEO and Barclays Capital architect Bobtastic Bob Diamond when he staged a comeback, have been disappointed. Diamond plans to float a buyout vehicle Atlas Mara on the London Stock Exchange in the next few weeks, with the aim of raising funds to invest in an African bank. His partner in this endeavour is not an ex-BarCap banker with African experience, but Ashish Thakkar, a 32-year-old African entrepreneur who escaped the Rwandan Genocide and left school at 15 to sell computer equipment to friends. Diamond is looking to raise $250m and is said to already have the support of several big institutional investors.
Bob Diamond, Jerry Del Missier and Rich Ricci will all have to testify in a Libor-related court case next year. (Guardian)
Barclays is alleged to have invested millions of dollars made from the manipulation of Libor in an offshore fund. (Telegraph)
RBC has been hiring for its fixed income business. Its most recent recruit is Mike Foster, most recently at Credit Suisse, as global head of central bank sales. (Financial News)
JPMorgan had spreadsheets recording its “track record” for converting Chinese princeling hires into business deals. Senior JPM banker said there was an ‘almost linear relationship’ between hiring princelings and winning Chinese mandates. (DealBook)
There is nothing illegal about hiring the children of top officials, and most are well-qualified graduates of prestigious U.S. universities. (WSJ)
HSBC is thinking of spinning out and listing a minority stake of up to 30% of its UK retail and commercial banking operation. (Financial Times)
New reason for male bankers to go to Hong Kong. (Atlantic)
Goldman Sachs: last bank commodity trading business standing? (CNBC)
Lloyd Blankfein’s beard just shows his alpha status. (NY Times)
Goldman Sachs waited four years to report trader’s wrongdoing. (USA Today)
The number of women in finance with stay-at-home spouses has climbed nearly tenfold since 1980. Few of the men are willing to take on corporate spouse duties, like attending or hosting Wall Street dinners with the alpha men who work at the banks. (NY Times)
Don’t expect your boss to intervene in office politics. Most bosses just let politics play out. (Leadershopfreak)