One of the best ways of securing a bigger title if you work in investment banking is to trade a bulge bracket bank for a smaller player.
So-called title inflation is a common tactic among bankers and traders leaving the likes of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan for European or Asian banks. Take Isabel Mahony, the former co-head of financial credit trading at Morgan Stanley, who has just joined Japanese bank SMBC Nikko Capital Markets as head of fixed income (admittedly, after a long break from the industry), or Vaheesan Sinnathamby, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, signed up to Haitong Securities as a managing director earlier this year.
But it works the other way too. The latest example we’ve found is Thomas Blondin, who was a managing director and head of emerging markets trading for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) at Cantor Fitzgerald. He left Cantor in October, but has just joined Goldman Sachs as an executive director.
Blondin was hired by Cantor in October 2013 as part of the bank’s buildout of emerging markets sales and trading staff. It said at the time that he would focus on sovereign and corporate credit and will establish the bank’s CEEMEA emerging markets presence in London.
Blondin is the second ex-Goldman EM credit trader to arrive at Goldman in recent months. Steve Gooden, an MD in emerging markets trading at the bank, joined Goldman in November, reporting into head of CEEMEA EM credit trading, Akash Patel.
This is not necessarily a sign that Goldman is building in this area, more than it has gaps to fill in a sector where hiring is heating up. Gooden replaced Kevin Kelly, who departed for Jefferies, which is making a push in emerging markets credit trading, late last year. Other exits include Gokhan Buyuksarac, a highly-rated EM trader who left for Nomura last month, Damien McCaughley, who left for Susquehanna International Group and Andy Skraba, who quit for SocGen.
But maybe Goldman's emerging markets desk has some big name allure. It's led by Kunal Shah, the hot shot trader who made MD at 27 and partner four years later. Shah was previously a macro prop trader at the bank until 2007, when Dodd-Frank clamped down on bank's trader their own money, and made the switch into emerging markets trading, where he's been ever since.
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