The hottest senior role that every bank is struggling to fill

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Big banks always seem to be in a poaching war over one particular position of importance, resulting in a game of musical chairs among senior bankers who are switching firms. Right now, Wall Street recruiters say much of the action is happening in FX sales, particularly covering corporates.

The latest big-name moves include Mark Haber, the former head of U.S. corporate FX sales at Nomura who was just hired by Morgan Stanley as a managing director in New York, according to sources. Mark Veale, a 20-year veteran of corporate FX sales and origination who spent the last 12 as a director at Citi, also departed for another gig. Insiders tell us he has accepted a similar position at Wells Fargo. Neither Haber or Veale are in the employee directory at Nomura and Citi. Morgan Stanley declined comment while Wells Fargo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. [Update: Wells Fargo has now confirmed it has hired Veale as an FX specialist reporting to Sharif Saba, head of the corporate rates & FX solutions].

Meanwhile, Maria Olson, a former director of corporate FX at Barclays, has joined at Deutsche Bank in New York. She started in September, according to her LinkedIn profile.

FX sales is “super-hot,” according to one recruiter who asked for anonymity. “Literally every bank has a search,” he said. These not only include big tier-1 banks, but also firms with a smaller presence in New York. “They are having problems finding people,” he said of second-tier banks. Foreign banks said to be on the lookout for FX sales talent include Commerzbank, ANZ and TD Bank, according to sources.

Of the three recent moves, Olson’s is the most interesting because it appears to go against a recent trend. Several high-level FX specialists have moved the other way, leaving Deutsche Bank to join Barclays, though many of those moves occurred in London. This list includes Jeremy Monnier, the former global head of FX structuring at Deutsche Bank who was named MD at Barclays in September, and Fabio Madar, Deutsche Bank’s former global head of foreign exchange, who joined the UK investment bank as global head of G10 foreign exchange trading and distribution in July. At least three other former Deutsche Bank executives have found work at Barclays in the last six weeks. Deutsche Bank has been cutting costs as part of its new strategic plan, though they have still had to hire in spots to refill seats left vacant by voluntary departures. Barclays, meanwhile, appears to be firmly in growth mode.

Most banks are trying to boost their corporate coverage as a way of hedging against low revenues from institutional clients. Goldman Sachs, for example, has made increased penetration of the corporate market a key component of its plan to increase fixed income trading revenues by $1bn by 2020.  

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