Bank of America has succumbed. Despite saying last year that it was happy with the size of its fixed income currencies and commodities business and was getting ready to seize market share, it's seemingly had a change of heart. The Financial Times reports that it's planning to make cuts from its fixed income business and that these will be over and above the 5% of traders it usually lets go at this time of year.
The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register suggests that some of these departures have happened already. The FCA Register simply shows people who've left the bank in London - without giving the reason for their exit, or clarifying whether they've moved to a branch overseas, but many of those who've left Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) in the past month have been traders or structurers in the bank's fixed income division.
February's exits include: Charles Baumberg, a credit derivatives trader who'd been with BAML for five years; Matthias Arndt, a senior financials trader who joined from Santander in September 2014; Gianfranco Maglieri, a vice president in EMEA structuring who joined in 2008; Yau Chung Ng, a non-Japanese Asia currency trader who joined from Goldman Sachs in 2013; Florent Morizot, a CDS trader who joined from UBS in 2008; and Christian Schels, a European government bond trader who joined the bank in 2011.
Bank of America declined to comment on the exits. Colleagues of Baumberg and Morizot confirmed that they'd departed. Others on the list didn't answer their phones when called.
While BAML appears to be bleeding senior fixed income traders, it's adding juniors. The FCA Register shows various juniors turning up in February, including Maria Kosyuchenko, a former junior fixed income structurer from BNP Paribas, Dylan Himy, a former junior credit structurer at SocGen, Jianding Zhu, a trainee quantitative analyst in electronic FICC trading, Florian Poissonnier, a trainee junior credit trader, Daniel Santha, a trainee FX options trader, and Patrick Meade, an analyst in credit sales who joined from insurance broker Aon.
Data from recruitment firm Michelangelo suggested recently that 70% of those leaving fixed income jobs in London are at director-level and above. London-based credit headhunters last year said senior people who lose their jobs now may struggle to get re-hired. “Banks now have no interest in hiring the 30 and 40 somethings who can remember the seven figure pay days of the past – even if those people do say they’ll accept less, they’re always going to be bitter and twisted about it,” said one headhunter at the time.