Senior BofA trader who left for a start-up returns to trading

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Leave for a start-up

A senior former Bank of America Merrill Lynch trader who left the firm last year to set up his own start-up has reappeared in trading.

Nikolai Andreev, an ex-BAML director of emerging markets trading, joined Exotix Capital as the head of trading for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region earlier this month in its London office.

He seemingly quit trading in 2017 when he left BAML and founded PushHub, a start-up incubator cum digital marketing consulting firm. PushHub offers marketing and business development support for startup products in mobile, telecom, fin-tech and digital industries, and help them with their digital strategy. Andreev still serves as a director at PushHub.

Andreev declined to comment for this article, but his reappearance in trading after an 11 month break suggests making a living in a start-up isn't that easy.

Andreev has spent most of his career in finance. He started at J.P. Morgan in 1998 before moving to the emerging markets trading desk at HSBC in 2005 and shifting to BAML four years later.

As we've reported before, finance professionals who leave for start-ups often come to regret it. In many cases, it means living off your savings. Not only you have to figure out what problem you are solving and why and build the product that fits the market needs, you also have to be able to sell it to make money. "This is where a lot of startups fail," says a former Goldman Sach managing director. "They solve an important problem using a great product, but they just can’t sell it."

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