Goldman Sachs' ex-head of rates trading quietly retired

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Kostas Pantazopoulos

One thing that can be said about Goldman Sachs is that it lets its senior people go gently. There are very few of the ruthless overnight ejections seen at some other firms, and instead plenty of meandering departures culminating in a 'retirement' that is nonetheless often followed by the retiree taking a job elsewhere.

It's not clear whether Kostas Pantazopoulos, Goldman's former head of rates trading is intending to go onto something else (maybe a macro hedge fund?), but insiders say he has retired, and his departure has been rather circuitous.

London-based Pantazopoulos ran Goldman's rates trading business for nine years from 2008. During that time, Financial News said he was, 'known for running a tight ship, with a good risk strategy — and for always making money.'  In May 2017, however, Pantazopoulos stepped aside and was named head of risk management strategies for the whole securities division. At the time, he was replaced by three people as head of rates trading - Hidehiro Imatsu, Nirubhan Pathmanabhan and Scott Rofey - and the performance of the business promptly slumped.

Pantazopoulos ' exit raises the question whether he always intended to leave GS after moving on from rates, or whether he simply didn't like working in risk.

His exit follows that of several senior Goldman Sachs rates traders this year, most notably Simon Kingsbury, head of European interest rate swaps trading. After a disastrous 2017, Goldman's fixed income currencies and commodities business had a good first quarter. However, the firm said its macro business under-performed and that strong revenues in the first three months were largely thanks to credit and commodities desks.

Goldman Sachs didn't immediately comment on Pantazopoulos' exit.

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