So, why did Morgan Stanley's ex-head of algo strats join RBC?

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Jas Sandhu has resurfaced, and he has done so in a rather unexpected position. Morgan Stanley's former head of Europe & Asia-Pacific algorithms and leading equities algo strat has not reappeared at J.P. Morgan as we predicted: he's at RBC Capital Markets. Gasps all around.

Sandhu's choice of new employer is even more surprising in light of new results from Greenwich Associates on equities algorithmic trading share for Europe. As the chart below shows, Morgan Stanley is now in equal second place. However, at no point in the past three years has RBC ranked in the top five.

What then could Sandhu's motivation for leaving a top ranked house for a bank that's not in the top tier? It could be the chance of a bigger job. - At RBC, Sandhu will be Head of Global Equities Execution Algorithms. At Morgan Stanley he was just responsible for Europe and Asia Pac. - He's becoming the proverbial bigger fish in the smaller pond.

However, headhunters suggest there's likely to be a financial incentive too. "RBC are a Canadian bank which means their bonuses are paid at the end of Q3 rather than end of year so it could just mean that they offered him a huge guarantee to move," says one headhunter specializing in the systematic trading space. "Morgan Stanley don't pay that well unless you make a stink about your pay constantly. So if someone has been there for 10 years it's likely he could have been held back in terms of bonuses.

"MS are known to pay in shares," he claims."Whilst banks like RBC will pay cash."

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available.

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