Major appointments in financial services are typically few and far between in January and early February as bankers hang out for their bonuses. But there are some brave exceptions. Here’s our list of hot global hires since the beginning of the year – people who in their new roles will influence the financial world in 2013.
A star trader at Deutsche Bank since 2004, Antoine Bisson left in September last year – one of 1,900 layoffs made by the German firm. Exane soon snapped up Bisson, who is well regarded in cash equities in both London and Paris. He started his new role as head of execution and co-head of trading in January, also responsible for high-touch sales trading, program trading and electronic trading. The move illustrates Exane’s continued ambitions to grow its presence in London's City, following the controversial relocation of company founder Nicolas Chanut to London a few months ago in defiance of France’s new tax on the rich. Over the past year the French investment firm has increased its UK headcount by about 20% to 200 people, according to the Financial Services Authority, the UK regulator.
Harrison is leaving his job as chief executive of boutique fund manager RWC Partners to become global head of equities at Schroders in March. This may seem like a step down to some, but the equities role is one of the most prominent within Schroders, which owns a 49% stake in RWC Partners. Harrison is also returning to his roots: He began his career at Schroders in 1988 as an analyst, before joining Newton, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Asset Management. With speculation mounting about who will succeed long-time Schroders CEO Michael Dobson, Harrison’s name has been put in the hat.
Islamic capital markets activity is picking up in the Middle East as Dubai attempts to carve out a niche as a centre for Sharia-compliant banking, but few international firms have made any big hires. J.P. Morgan, however, unveiled Hussain Hussan in January as its new global head of Islamic finance based in Dubai. He was previously with UBS, a bank which failed to make inroads in the Islamic finance sector last year, and has been hired to tap into a “significant increase in demand” for sharia-compliant products, according to Sjoerd Leenart, senior country manager for the Middle East and North Africa at J.P. Morgan.
Mark Mahaney, who was fired from Citigroup in October amid a probe into disclosure lapses during the troubled Facebook IPO, says he “firmly stands” by his calls about the social network and “strongly disagrees” with Citi’s decision to let him go. The influential Internet analyst has bounced back quickly, resurfacing in January at RBC Capital Markets as a managing director covering the Internet industry. He will remain in San Francisco, where he worked for seven years at Citi.
After 25 years at Morgan Stanley, Simon Robey left the US bank in September 2012. But far from throwing in the towel, the dealmaker and opera fan launched an advisory firm, Robertson Robey Associates, in mid-January along with Simon Robertson, the chairman of Rolls Royce. As we reported last month the two partners have already hired their first employees. Watch this space.
Erwin Sanft has taken on a newly created Hong Kong-based position at Standard Chartered: head of Hong Kong and China equity research. He joins from BNP Paribas where he was most recently chief strategist for Asia equities. The region is certainly important to Stan Chart. Although headquartered in London, the firm earns more than 90% of its profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Sanft, a New Zealander, comes with an established client franchise and 15 years of sell-side experience.
Until last July, James "Jes" Staley was chairman of J.P. Morgan’s investment bank. Now, in a strange twist of fate, he has become a partner at BlueMountain Capital Management, a hedge fund that profited from J.P. Morgan’s $6.2 billion "London Whale" trading loss. Staley, who spent 34 years at the US bank, is the ninth BlueMountain Capital managing partner and is also acquiring shares in the firm.
Kevin Wilson, former global chief operating officer of cash equities at Barclays Capital, joined Portuguese bank Espirito Santo in January. The firm heralded his arrival, plus that of three senior equity researchers, as part of an “expansion drive.” Wilson is tasked with growing Espirito Santo Investment Bank’s business globally.
Sarah Butcher, Paul Clarke, Simon Mortlock and Beecher Tuttle contributed to this story.