Deutsche Bank is replacing traders with Morgan Stanley hires

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Deutsche Bank is replacing traders with Morgan Stanley hires

If you're a macro trader who leaves Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank may take you in. The German bank has hired at least two senior macro traders from Morgan Stanley in as many months.

As we reported in early December, Deutsche Bank poached Josh Hooker, Morgan Stanley's head of G3 rates trading, to be its global head of forwards and short-term interest rates trading in London. As of this month, it's also hired Alok Modi, Morgan Stanley's former head of macro trading in Asia. Modi's arrival last week was previously reported by Bloomberg. He joins as head of European government bonds, synthetics and cash derivatives.

The two Morgan Stanley hires come as Deutsche is investing in its macro trading business, which it said in December is experiencing healthy growth under new management. The flow of headcount isn't entirely one way, however. Deutsche has also been clearing out its London traders to make way for the new hires. Modi appears to be a replacement for Daragh McDevitt, who did a similar - if not identical job - as head of the European government bond desk until he was let go in December 2019. McDevitt's exit came as a surprise to the extent that he was only promoted into his role around three months previously, just before Deutsche rehired Cam Gilbert from Mizuho to run its rates business.

Deutsche Bank confirmed Modi's arrival. Sources said Modi is a "star hire" who will do a "very good job" at DB.

If Deutsche wants to recruit further traders from Morgan Stanley, it still has options. Mitchell ('Mitch) Nadel, one of the biggest producers on Morgan Stanley's U.S. rates desk and the bank's co-head of global rates, left the U.S. bank suddenly in December. Nadel's name had previously been mentioned in association with losses of around $140m relating to the mis-marking Turkish lira securities by an associate in London. However, Bloomberg said he had a 'minimal role' in that business and was not involved in the affair. Nadel's exit is nonetheless thought to have destablized Morgan Stanley's U.S. rates trading operation, which is already said to be skittish after exits and fears that the loss could hit bonuses.

Morgan Stanley is expected to announce bonus numbers in the coming days. Deutsche Bank won't announce until early February. This could give DB the opportunity to fill other roles with disaffected people from Morgan Stanley. Some big jobs at Deutsche already appear to be open. For example, the German bank might need a head of European FX sales following the December disappearance of Ernesto Mercadante. Others might require the jettisoning of existing staff to make space for upgrades. 

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