When it comes to fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) sales and trading, Morgan Stanley is more vacillatory than a Greek faced with an impossible referendum decision.
In the past seven years, it first slashed its fixed income business in the wake of the financial crisis. Then built it up again between 2009 and 2010. Then it had second thoughts and made plenty of people redundant in 2013. And now it's interested in exploring the possibilities again. Or at least, so said the Wall Street Journal in an article yesterday
The WSJ said Morgan Stanley is already hiring 'selectively' in fixed income, but London headhunters said there isn't much sign of any activity yet. "They're looking to hire a hedge fund sales guy, but that doesn't exactly constitute a rebuild," says one London fixed income recruiter, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Morgan Stanley seem quite active in emerging markets, but that's not a rebuild given that they let go of 50% of some of these teams a few years ago," says another headhunter, speaking on the same basis.
Morgan Stanley isn't commenting on the WSJ's article, but it said yesterday that its fixed income strategy remains, "unchanged."
The London Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register suggests Morgan Stanley has recently focused new hires more heavily on its equities than its fixed income business. In June alone it's registered Matteo Mazzetto, an executive director in structured product sales from Barclays, Kingsley Onah, a convertibles professional from Citi, Benajmin Szakal, an ETF trader from Bluefin Trading, and Victoria Greer, an autos research analyst from J.P. Morgan. Over the same period in fixed income, it's added Lutz Goergen, a credit index trader from Saba Capital Management.