Why Mizuho is expanding in FICC

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Most banks are paring bank their fixed income currencies and commodities businesses. Deutsche Bank is expected to make cuts under John Cryan. Credit Suisse is expected to make cuts under Tidjane Thiam. One bank, however, is swimming against the tide. That bank is..Mizuho.

"The intention is to add a derivatives platform," says Christian Heiberg, the new head of fixed income trading at Mizuho International. "We are just about to launch phase one with regards to our derivatives platform. "Phase one includes simple swaps, either cleared or with high quality CSA documentation. The natural extension to that will be the addition of a short term interest rate trading desk and some OTC products like cross currency swaps."

Heiberg joined Mizuho from Nordea in May. He held a similar role at the Norwegian bank.

Heiberg says Mizuho is well-placed to push into derivatives trading. "Mizuho is very committed to pursuing growth outside Asia in Europe. The bank already has a large global lending business and a strong European credit and government bond franchise, and it makes sense for and our customers us to expand our product suite by adding derivatives."

The uncertainty in FICC divisions at European banks is already working in Mizuho's favour, says Heiberg: "I'm getting CVs every day - there's a lot of interest from people working at the established players."

Nonetheless, anyone hoping to get in at Mizuho should know that the bank's hiring plans aren't exactly frothy. Heiberg says the plan is to grow "organically", which is tantamount to 'slowly.' He says: "We've already hired one very senior trader for our derivatives trading desk and in the short term we probably need at least one more. We may hire five or six more in the next one or two years, but that exact number is not certain right now."

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