We remarked upon Santander’s secret sucking up of fixed income traders in London back in September 2014. Guess what? Much like RBC, it seems the Spanish bank is hiring still.
Santander just announced its results for 2014. They confirm that the UK business has been hiring. Nor has it simply been hiring cashiers – it’s been bringing on ‘wholesale banking’ professionals to develop its ‘transactional, interest rate and fixed income capabilities.’ It’s also been hiring people to work on, ‘the related controls, systems and processes.’ Costs in the wholesale business rose by 45% as a result.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register reflects the ‘influx’ of new talent. Between September and December, Santander added 23 new front office bankers according to the FCA. Since the start of January it’s added another eight.
Who are these people? Smit Acharya, a senior structured notes trader who’d spent nearly five years at BNP Paribas. Carlos Morrell, who’d spent more than seven years at BAML. And Luca Jellinek, the former head of European rates strategy at Credit Agricole, who’s just joined Santander as global head of rates and FX strategy based out of London.
Santander can clearly attract some big talent. The FCA register also indicates that the Spanish bank has moved Luca Pietrangeli to the London office. A former FX salesman at Goldman and BAML,Pietrangeli was hired by Santander in 2010 to work out of Madrid. His move to London indicates that things are afoot at Santander.
So do you want to join? Last time we wrote about the Spanish bank someone suggested that Santander is a dyed-in-the-wool retail bank and any red-toothed trading types wouldn’t stick around. This doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case. Since October the FCA register indicates that no one has left Santander for a rival in London. Eight people have, however, quit with nowhere else to go – suggesting that some upgrading may be taking place.