It’s a bad time to work in equity sales. Just ask all the people who are losing their jobs at Deutsche Bank today – along with the backlog of equity salespeople out of the market who can’t get in again. There is hope, however, HSBC’s former head of equity sales, who left the bank in September 2016, has reappeared at a familiar firm on the buy-side.
As of this month, Nick Tranter is now head of marketing and investor services at Gordian Knot, a London investment firm. For those not familiar with the name, Gordian Knot was a key player in the financial crisis. Founded by Citigroup structured investment vehicles (SIV) pioneers, Nicholas Sossidis and Stephen Partridge-Hicks, it ran some of the largest SIV funds and had $57bn under management before the crisis struck. When the knot unraveled, Gordian was at the centre: its $27bn Sigma Investment Fund failed in October 2008.
Even so, Gordian is still going today and Sossidis and Partridge Hicks are still running it. Last year the two men founded First Global Trust Bank Plc, a new bank for “wholesale investors”.
Tranter’s last role at HSBC was managing director and global head of equities client management. Before that he was head of EMEA equity sales at the bank between 2013 and 2015. Between 1996 and 2007 he was managing director and head of European equity derivative sales at Morgan Stanley.
As we reported last month, HSBC has been cutting people in its investment bank as new boss Matthew Westerman (ex-Goldman) shakes things up a bit. Tranter’s move is reassurance that there is an alternative.