Today is the day of the Barclays AGM. It’s unlikely to be a peaceable occurrence: protests are expected over everything from Barclays’ support for coal fired power stations and tax havens, to its £2.4bn investment banking bonus pot.
Ominously, Barclays released a statement ahead of the meeting saying that it’s suffered a ‘significant year-on-year reduction in FICC income, reflecting difficult market conditions and a strong comparative performance for Q1 last year.’ The bank will detail a new strategy for its investment bank on May 8th and some analysts are predicting that this will involve 5,000 redundancies in its London-based European fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) business alone. Barclays isn’t commenting, but a poor first quarter performance for FICC does not bode well.
So, what do you do if you’re a Barclays FICC professional who wants to get out ASAP? Even though Barclays claims that it nearly lost two thirds of its senior US bond traders last year, you’re in a difficult spot. Headhunters in London say they’re receiving plenty of FICC CVs from the British bank and options are limited. “A lot of people are trying to leave Barclays’ FICC business, but there aren’t many good bids around. At the end of the day there’s nowhere really to go,” says one fixed income headhunter, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Matters are likely to be made worse by cuts coming at Deutsche Bank: the market is about to be saturated with unwanted markets professionals. Already, senior Barclays salespeople like Andrea Anselmetti and Emad Taktak, who were let go from Barclays in February have yet to resurface.
And yet, it’s not that bad. In the past six months FICC people have left Barclays in London and they have found new jobs elsewhere. If you’re at Barclays and you’re trying to escape, you may want to take a lead from these former colleagues. They might even be in a position to hire you.
1. Alok Modi left Barclays in late 2013. He’s now head of government bond and CDS trading for Europe at Morgan Stanley
If you’re a bond or CDS trader at Barclays, you could try tapping Alok Modi. Modi used to be the director of long-end STRIPS trading at Barclays. Having settled in at Morgan Stanley, he may now have a mandate to hire. Morgan Stanley had a very good quarter in fixed income, after all.
2. Piotr Chwiejczak left Barclays in December 2013. He’s now a fixed income strategist at BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas still seems to be hiring for its fixed income business. As we reported last month, it just recruited Simon Birch from Morgan Stanley in a senior EMEA trading role. BNP’s recent hires also include Piotr Chwiejczak, a former EMEA fixed income strategist at Barclays who’s gone into a similar role at the French bank.
3. Mario Crovato left Barclays in December 2013. He’s now an MD and head of fixed income/credit sales for Italy at Unicredit
Like Barclays, Unicredit is in a difficult place. After making a $20bn loss in the fourth quarter of 2013, Unicredit plans to make 8,500 job cuts. This doesn’t seem to have dissuaded Mario Crovato, a former director of flow rates sales at Barclays from joining its investment bank in London, however.
4. Natasha Dole left Barclays in March 2014. She’s now in cross asset derivative sales at Goldman Sachs
Dole managed to trade-up when she quit Barclays. She’s now at Goldman, but is fairly junior (and was an analyst at Barclays), so may not be in a position to rescue her former colleagues, however.
5. Christian Reusch left Barclays in December 2013. He’s now a quantitative strategist/developer at Tyler Capital
At Barclays, Reusch was responsible for high frequency quantitative research and development of equity trading algorithms. At Tyler Capital he’s doing the same, but has responsibility for fixed income strategies too. He looks like a good person to know if you’re a quant who wants to leave Barclays for a hedge fund before it’s too late.