Expanding boutique investment bank raids larger rivals

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When most investment banks signalled their intention to pull back from commodities at the tail end of 2013, BTG Pactual boldly announced that it would be adding an additional 100 heads. In London, the Brazilian investment bank remains relatively small, but it’s been quietly adding senior staff from larger rivals in the City.

In the past few weeks [efc_twitter text="BTG Pactual has twice raided the senior ranks of BNP Paribas"]. Firstly it brought in Olivier Chermette, head of arbitrage proprietary trading at the French bank since 2006. Secondly, it brought in Bertrand Divet, a former managing director at the bank and senior trader within BNP's XVA division, which manages derivatives valuation adjustments. Divet joined BNP from Citadel in 2012 and goes to BTG as a trader.

Not limiting itself to BNP's current employees, BTG has also hired a senior ex-BNP Paribas banker who's been out of the market since the financial crisis. Stephan Delacote, the former head of structured credit trading at BNP, left BNP in March 2008. Delacote has spent the last two years working in business development for Eductive – an iPhone app that seeks to educate users on art, philosophy and literature. He took a trading role at BTG last month.

It's possible that BTG is taking advantage of BNP Paribas’ de-emphasis of fixed income after it rolled out a new strategy for its corporate and investment bank late last year. [efc_twitter text="BNP's fixed income business has been pared back in recent years"]. The French bank's management shake-up in November, in which head of fixed income Frederic Janbon stepped down to be replaced by no one, suggests a reduced status for the division within the bank.

BTG's London office primarily operates as an asset manager and internal hedge fund. The Brazilian firm has been expanding its hedge fund operation over the past year, bringing in a spate of senior banking traders including Paul Savini Jr, a senior trader at Goldman Sachs.

BTG has also hired Colin Monachan, a senior emerging markets options and inflation trader at J.P. Morgan, and Lewis Slayden, a metals trader at Deutsche Bank.

Headcount at BTG in London has increased by 21% over the past 12 months, but it still has only 75 FCA registered employees in the City.

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