Change is afoot at Credit Suisse. On one hand, it’s hiring under new global head of equities, Mike Stewart. On the other, it’s bigging-up systematic trading as a way of increasing revenues at incredibly healthy margins. Somewhere in the confluence of these two things, the Swiss bank has decided to part company with Nas Al-khudairi, its head of electronic products, who was promoted less than two years ago.
Insiders say Al-khudairi left Credit Suisse on amicable terms in the past few days. Colleagues confirmed his exit. It’s not clear who will be replacing him. It’s thought that Al-khudairi is off to Barclays, to join Stephen Dainton, who was hired from CS in August as global head of equities at the British bank. Barclays is building its electronic trading business and hired Graham Wayne, KCG’s former head of electronic trading, in July.
A Credit Suisse veteran, Al-khudairi spent 20 years at the bank and was head of cash equities for EMEA before assuming the electronic role – now part of Stewart’s purview. Although Credit Suisse ranked equal third for cash equities trading in Europe in 2016 according to Greenwich Associates, its electronic equities business ranks outside the top three in both EMEA and the U.S. In May this year, Credit Suisse hired-in Stuart McGuire from Deutsche Bank as head of cash equities trading in EMEA. McGuire has an electronic and program trading background.
As head of electronic products, Al-khudairi was particularly concerned with boosting revenues from systematic trading strategies in Credit Suisse’s FX and credit business in both EMEA and the Americas. However, when Stephen Dainton, former head of equity trading in EMEA, left in January 2017, Al-khudairi had electronic equities trading added to his responsibilities.
Al-khudairi has a big fan base at CS. Insiders say he was one of a few “brilliant” people at the helm of the markets business who was willing to stand up to CEO Tidjane Thiam. His exit follows that of other big names in Credit Suisse’s electronic equities business, most notably NYC-based Daniel Mathisson in February 2016.
Al-khudairi is being replaced by Anthony Abenante, a CS outsider who was hired in August. Abenante was the CEO of Instinet between 2007 and 2012 and has worked as an advisor for various companies since.
Photo credit: Exit by Lionel Martinez is licensed under CC BY 2.0.