J. P. Morgan has made a series of senior hires for both its advisory and markets business in the past few weeks, capitalising on the exodus from Royal Bank of Scotland and expanding in an area where other banks are retreating.
Senior figures in RBS’s small and respected project finance group have just signed up to J.P. Morgan, according to sources close to the situation. Michael Crosland, head of project finance advisory at RBS and Paul Fairbairn, a managing director in energy advisory at the bank, both joined J.P. Morgan earlier this month.
This is an example of RBS losing investment bankers who are well-regarded in their field as a result of its general downsizing. Fairbairn had been with the bank for 18 years, so it’s a significant departure.
But J.P. Morgan has also been hiring for its sales and trading business. Florent Beluche, who was head of OTC sales at ED&F Man Capital markets and a specialist in agricultural commodities derivatives, also joined J.P. Morgan earlier this month.
J.P. Morgan sold a chunk of its physical commodities business to Mercuria last year, although it remains a player in the sector and Beluche’s focus is on derivative products. Nonetheless, commodities remains a difficult area to work in within investment banking, with a number of firms – notably UBS, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank – all cutting in the sector.
Senior sales trader Jonathan Skrine, who was latterly working in emerging markets sales trading at UBS, has also joined J.P. Morgan in a similar role.