The U.S. head of equities at BNP Paribas mysteriously disappeared

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What became of Chris Innes? One moment he was happily ensconced as head of equities for Americas at BNP Paribas. The next, he disappeared. Poof. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Innes' FINRA registration shows that he left Paribas at the end of last month. He didn't immediately respond to a request to comment on his plans. Nor did BNP Paribas immediately respond to a request to comment on the reasons for Innes' exit.

It's eminently possible that he retired. Innes is an equities veteran who started his career at Paine Webber back in 1992 before moving to Salomon (where he pioneered the Accelerated Share Repurchase technique), before moving to BAML and then the buy-side. After 25 years in the industry, Innes might be ready for a rest.

Alternatively, he may have been poached. 2017 is proving a good year for very senior equities professionals who want a new job on Wall Street. As European banks (think Credit Suisse and Barclays) strengthen their desks, there have been a flurry of top end hires - even as other mid-ranking and senior equities professionals who've been laid off find themselves locked out the market.

Overall, however, 2017 is far from a boom year for equities desks. Last week's results from J.P. Morgan and Citi showed equities sales and trading revenues shrinking in the second quarter compared to the previous year and stalling across the whole of the first half.

BNP Paribas is one of the few banks going for growth right now: the French bank wants to achieve compound annual revenue growth across the corporate and investment bank of 4.5% over the next three years. In U.S. equities at least, it will seemingly be doing this under new leadership.


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