There’s a revival in rates recruitment in London investment banks, and competition is heating up. Banks are hiring from the buy-side and people who left the market years ago to fill senior roles. And, it seems, Russia.
HSBC has just hired Maxim Safonov, the head of global markets at Sberbank CIB who has been working in Moscow at the Russian bank for the past five years. Safonov left in July last year, but has just re-emerged as a managing director in rates trading at HSBC in London.
This is a return to HSBC for Safonov, who spent six years at the bank between 2004 and 2010 as head of markets for Moscow and later head of trading for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Safonov has flitted between roles in hedge funds and investment banks in both London and Moscow throughout his career. He left HSBC for now defunct hedge fund FrontPoint Partners in 2010, and later moved to Finisterre Capital, an emerging markets focused hedge fund, where he was a portfolio manager covering FX and rates strategies. He joined Russian bank Troika Dialog in 2012, which was later acquired by Sberbank.
HSBC has continued to cut senior investment banking jobs throughout the course of 2017, with around 100 roles earmarked for the chop in January. On the advisory side of the business, HSBC bankers have been flooding out, either to other banks – J.P. Morgan has just taken on senior FIG banker Ricardo Rubio in New York, for example – to start their own businesses, or even to run cookie companies.
But there’s room to grow its rates business. In its interim report, HSBC reported a 9% increase in rates sales and trading revenues, to $1.1bn, and said that it increased market share in Europe. While banks in the U.S. are looking to make senior credit hires, the focus in London has been recruiting senior rates staff, according to headhunters.
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