U.S. Jobs' Roundup: Barclays raids Citigroup, ABN trims thousands

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A mass defection of credit derivatives executives from Citigroup to Barclays Capital and announcements of layoffs at Dutch Bank ABN Amro made for plenty of job news on Wall Street last week.

Eight credit derivates specialists made their way from Citigroup to Barclays Capital. They are Doug Warren, who will be a managing director and head of North American credit derivatives; Jonathan Koerner, also a managing director, becomes head of North American correlation trading; Ted Husveth joins as an associate director, North American correlation trading; Greg Tell joins as a director and head of North American credit options and exotics trading; Geoff Gentile and Alex Salomon come on board as associate directors on the same team; and Tony Trears and Alex Rabiner join the North American CDS flow trading desk as associate directors.

ABN Amro, the largest Dutch bank, plans to cut 2,850 jobs, or about 3% of its total workforce, to improve profitability in Europe and help make up for a decline in U.S. mortgage lending. Most of the job cuts at ABN will be in Europe: 1,100 will be in investment banking and corporate lending and 1,200 in information technology. ABN Amro, which trimmed its U.S. payroll by about 1,500 last year, is the third of Europe's biggest banks to announce job cuts this month, joining Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse Group.

The company's North American unit generated 46% of profit in the first half of the year. The Netherlands accounted for 19% and Brazil generated 17%. Of the total job cuts announced by ABN, just 8% will be in the U.S. and another 6% will be spread across seven other countries in the Americas.

Meanwhile, at CSFB analysts covering the airlines, beverage, software and retail industries were swept up in the layoffs that the firm announced last week. Those let go include Andrew Higgins, ranked as the top airlines analyst in The Wall Street Journal's "Best on the Street" survey in 2003; beverage analyst Andrew Conway, who has ranked on Institutional Investor's first or second teams for the last three years; and retailing analyst Richard Baum along with software analyst John Rizzuto.

CSFB Chief Executive Brady Dougan last week said 200 to 300 people would be laid off in several departments and regions over the next six weeks as part of a plan to build profits at the U.S.-based investment banking arm of Credit Suisse Group and more closely integrate its operations with its parent. He said the company would focus on specific areas of industry expertise, including banks and energy companies.

About a dozen research department employees, including some junior analysts and assistants, got pink slips last week, according to a report in Wall Street Letter, an industry newsletter that named some of the analysts. In a related move, the company last week dismissed Anthia Christian, its small-cap stock strategist.

On the plus side, BNP Paribas, which has been hiring all year, appointed Rayomand Batiwala as vice president in the analytics group of its New York securitization team. Batiwala joins from Freddie Mac.

Morgan Stanley announced the return of Edward A. Brennan to its board of directors after a 14-month absence. During the interim, Brennan served as executive chairman of AMR Corp., parent company of American Airlines, on whose board Morgan Stanley chairman and chief executive Philip J. Purcell also serves. Brennan left Morgan Stanley's board in October 2003 to avoid the two companies having their respective chairmen serving on each other's boards. Earlier this year, however, he relinquished the executive post at AMR Corp.

Off Wall Street

Away from Wall Street, Pacific Crest Securities, an investment bank specializing in serving technology companies, made four hires - three at the expense of Schwab Soundview Capital Markets. The three are Chris Whitstock, Owen O'Neil and Bill Durkin. Wittstock will lead Pacific Crest's European sales effort, working out of its Stamford office. O'Neil will lead Pacific Crest's Boston institutional equity sales team. Durkin becomes a vice president of institutional equity sales in Boston. The fourth hire, Brett Batchelder was most recently vice president of institutional sales at Deutsche Bank.

Fulcrum Global Partners, a New York-based securities firm, also hired from Schwab Soundview for its San Fransisco office. Christopher Godvin joins Fulcrum as manager of the office and as sales trader.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest futures exchange in the U.S. was also in hiring mode. It appointed Robin S. Ross as managing director, interest rate products. Ross joins CME from Cantor Fitzgerald. During 2004, CME's interest rate product line has grown significantly in terms of overall trading volumes, electronic trading on CME Globex and the addition of new client segments.

Thomson Financial, the financial information and technology arm of U.S. conglomerate Thomson Corporation, has poached a director from bitter rival Bloomberg to head up its Latin American operations. Dan Parke, who will be a managing director of Thomson Financial Latin America, was Bloomberg's regional director for Latin America for over nine years. He will be based in Sao Paolo.

There was also a little spate of hiring in wealth management. Wachovia Wealth Management in New York named Linda Bowden to the newly created position of wealth management executive. Bowden will oversee Wachovia's 55 wealth management teams that serve clients throughout the East Coast and in expansion markets such as Alabama and Texas. Bowden will be based in New York City. Wachovia is the fourth largest wealth manager in the country, Prior to joining Wachovia in 1991, Bowden worked eight years at the Private Banking Group of Citibank.

The Boca Raton, Florida branch office of Smith Barney appointed George L. Salguero as senior vice president-Investments/financial consultant. Salguero was previously with Northern Trust Securities. He will provide a full suite of financial planning and investment services to high net-worth clients.

Finally, Boston Private Financial Holdings announced that Robert J. Whelan had joined as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Whelan was previously CFO of MFS Investment Management.