Speculation is growing that Phil Allison, the ex-UBS head of global cash equities (and head of EMEA equities) who contributed to a 60% increase in the bank's equities sales and trading revenues last year, is joining KCG Holdings (formed from the merger of Knight Capital and Getco).
KCG wasn't available to comment on the rumours and UBS is declining to comment on Allison's destination. However, UBS insiders say cryptically that Allison has joined friends at a rival firm and that the firm he's joined is not a major investment bank.
KCG is seen as Allison's probable new home: after merging with high frequency trading company Getco last year, the broker dealer has been on a bit of a hiring spree. Knight Capital recruited John DiBacco, UBS's former global head of Delta 1 trading (who was let go for failing to supervise Kweku Adoboli) in February 2014 and DiBacco has been building the business and hiring his former colleagues. DiBacco added senior electronic traders from Citadel, ING and MF Global in June and Knight recruited Charles Susi, global co-head of electronic trading from UBS in July 2013 and Susi is on a mission to build KCG into a top electronic trading company using KCG clients and Getco's algorithmic trading and order routing technology.
Of course, it's always possible that Allison has joined friends somewhere other than KCG. UBS traders have also migrated to hedge funds Millennium Management, Tudor Capital and Bluecrest over the past year...
Separately, Paul Huxford, European head of equity research at JPMorgan is said to be on sabbatical. A colleague confirmed that Huxford is on extended leave. JPMorgan declined to comment.