A senior Greek investment banker at HSBC, who spent much of his career in London, has just returned home to lead the corporate and investment bank of the National Bank of Greece.
Vassilis Karamouzis, who spent over eight years at HSBC latterly as head of asset finance origination for Southern Europe and head of capital financing for Greece and Cyprus, has just taken the role as head of the corporate and investment bank at the National Bank of Greece. Before his latest role at HSBC, he was head of global markets sales and debt capital markets at HSBC for Greece and Cyprus.
He joined HSBC in June 2009 after more than six years at Deutsche Bank in London where he worked in hedge fund sales and later a global markets role focused on both Greece and the Middle East.
While working for the National Bank of Greece may seem like a huge leap from a senior job at a large investment bank like HSBC, Karamouzis' duties are vastly expanded. He will over see activity with large corporates, investment banking deals, structured finance and syndication deals.
London has a big population of Greek bankers working in senior roles across the City. While other nationalities like French and German are better represented in London's banking sector, our own figures suggests that Greek bankers comprise 1.27% of those working in investment banking roles in London. This figure might seem small, but of the 2,300 Greek speakers on the eFinancialCareers database who work in investment banking, 37% of them are in London.
The flow of European bankers from London after the Brexit vote may be more of a trickle than a flood, but EU nationals are either scrambling to secure a new role and permanent residency before the UK potentially ends the freedom of movement in March 2019. Recruiters Morgan McKinley said this week that the conversation had shifted from 'if' bankers need to leave London to 'when' they should think about going.
Large investment banks have made public announcements about moving jobs out of the UK after Brexit, with Frankfurt likely to be the main beneficiary. Initially, it's likely to be trading jobs that currently rely on access to EU markets from London. However, London also serves as a central hub for investment bankers covering EU markets from the UK. It seems likely that many of these jobs will shift too as the UK's financial sector becomes less centralised.
Karamouzis is also the latest banker to depart from HSBC, which said in January that it was cutting 100 people within its investment bank, largely in the senior ranks. Ben Katz, who was head of DCM for the financial institutions group for the U.S. and co-head of HSBC’s financing solutions group for the Americas, left in February and has just launched his own boutique.
James Simpson, the former co-head of advisory for EMEA at HSBC, teamed up with Matteo Canonaco, the former head of financial sponsors, sovereign wealth funds and IPC coverage at the bank, to launch a private equity boutique called DuCanon Capital Partners.
Meanwhile, Ben Leonard, co-head of UK FIG banking at HSBC, left earlier this year. He has just launched a fintech firm called META, which looks to bridge the gap between technology firms and financial institutions. Meanwhile, its former head of corporate finance, John Crompton, has just joined fintech firm Issufy as chairman of the advisory board.