While senior fixed income bankers quit the likes of Morgan Stanley for hedge funds, one bank seems to be building its fixed income business despite the challenging market conditions. That bank is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
As reported last week, BAML hired Michele Foresti from Deutsche Bank to head FICC trading for EMEA. Now, Financial News reports that BAML has hired Tom Klocker as head of e-trading for its fixed income currencies and commodities business. Klocker comes from UBS, where he was head of algorithmic trading for fixed income, currencies and commodities.
It's starting to look like Bank of America is retooling its European FICC business from the top. Can it afford to do so? Costs accounted for 90% of revenues at Bank of America's Markets business in the fourth quarter of 2013. However, this doesn't seem to be dissuading the bank from hiring at a time when recruiters say rivals are sitting on their hands and waiting to see how the year develops.
Separately, Bloomberg has unearthed a 26 year-old who owned a selection of the world's most aspirational vehicles. John Babikian, a 26-year old from Montreal, drove a Bugatti Veyron, a Lamborghini and a Bentley. Predictably, this weren't achieved through honest work in an investment bank. Babikian ran an illicit penny stock boiler room company, AwesomePennyStocks (in the style of the Wolf of Wall Street, but with newsletters instead of high press telephone sales tactics) which is under investigation by the SEC. Babikian has had his assets frozen. His cars are likely to be sold off cheaply.
Citigroup is about to name Leonardo Arduini, most recently head of investor sales for markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as the head of its markets business in the region. (Financial News)
UBS has formed a new unit called Capital and Consulting Services, which just combines its existing Capital Introduction and Business Consulting teams. (WSJ)
Robert Talbut, chief investment officer at Royal London Asset Management and chairman of the Association of British Insurers’ investment committee, has defended Barclays’ bonuses: “Remuneration levels in investment banking are not set in the UK alone but in the US and, therefore, if you wish to be in that industry, you need to match them.” (The Times)
Scott Devitt, Morgan Stanley’s star internet analyst in the US has resigned, seemingly to go somewhere else. (Financial Times)
Antony Jenkins at Barclays is getting a £4m share payout. That's not much when you consider that Rich Ricci cashed in £17.6m shortly before he left. (Financial Times)
SocGen wants to pay bankers bonuses worth double their salaries. (Reuters)
At the height of the financial crisis, the Chinese received a message from the Russians which was, 'Hey let's join together and sell Fannie and Freddie securities on the market.’ (BBC)