Barclays inexplicably parted company with its U.S. head of equity trading

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Amit Mehrotra

In a surprising move, the head of U.S. equities trading has left Barclays after over a decade with the bank in New York.

Barclays insiders say Amit Mehrotra, the UK bank's head of U.S equity trading left the bank last week. Mehrotra spent the last seven years as head of U.S. equity trading at Barclays and also spent the last two years running all flow derivatives sales and trading. He began his career as an equity derivatives trader at Lehman Brothers in 1996.

Mehrotra's exit comes after an excellent start to the year for Barclays' equities business. In the first six months of 2018, revenues were up 32% compared to the same period a year before. "I'm really pleased about our performance in equities," said CEO Jes Staly in the bank's second quarter investor call. "Kudos to the team."

Barclays declined to comment for this article. Mehrotra's disappearance follows some heavy hiring into the Barclays' equities business following the appointment of Stephen Dainton, formerly of Credit Suisse, whom Barclays hired last August as global head of equities. It also follows the disappearance of large numbers of former Lehman Brothers equities traders from Barclays over the past two years. - Mehrotra was one of the last of that breed.

Barclays has hired over 40 managing directors and directors across its investment bank globally since the start of 2017. However, it's also been letting go of established managing directors in areas like credit trading, prompting complaints from some long-serving staff who have been complaining about the influx of highly paid new colleagues.

It's not clear what Mehrotra will do next. "He was managing one of the best flow derivatives teams on the street," says one Barclays insider. "This is simply a regime change - the new managers are bringing in their own guys, irrespective of who they've got already."

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