J.P. Morgan MD quits as senior staff start trickling out of U.S. banks

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Will this (finally) be the year in which senior bankers decide finance careers aren't worth the aggro? Maybe, particularly if markets turn sour. With bonuses at U.S. banks already, paid some senior staff are leaving already, irrespective of what happens to equities markets and VIX ETNs. One of them is Alexandre Houpert, the head of pan-European retail structured product sales at J.P. Morgan in London.

"After 17 years on the trading floor, I have decided to leave the industry," says Houpert. He's off to work on StudyTracks Education, an educational technology company he co-founded in 2014 to help students absorb information by putting study notes to music.

Houpert isn't the only one who's off now that bonuses are paid. As we reported earlier, a Goldman Sachs executive director in fixed income sales, has left to start his own diamond trading business. Houpert says he left J.P. Morgan on good terms. His time at the U.S. bank was relatively short-lived: he joined J.P.M. in November 2016 after a fourteen year career at SocGen.

Further fallout of senior staff is expected after European banks pay their bonuses later this month and in March. Deutsche Bank in particular risks departures amidst concerns about the viability of its current business model. "The mood at Deutsche is miserable," says one London M&A headhunter. "A lot of the most senior people don't need the money. They're asking themselves what the point of bothering is."

A fixed income headhunter cautions against quitting on a whim, though. "If anything, we're seeing a lot of people who left for fintech two or three years ago trying to come back," he says. "But it's not easy and there just aren't the roles there for them."

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