Ex-BNP Paribas EM professionals are causing a stir, as one turns up at Goldman Sachs

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Have you worked in the emerging markets (EM) team at BNP Paribas? Following revelations this week, you may either be considered hot property or a potential liability. Either way, it seems that banks like Goldman Sachs are interested in your talents.

Ex-BNP Paribas traders were behind the big known profits and the big known losses relating to the economic turmoil in Turkey. Tolga Kirbay, a director level EM credit trader at Barclays is understood to have faced losses of $19m on a Turkish bond bet last week. Conversely, Niru Raveendran, the head of central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) credit trading at Deutsche Bank, is understood to have made around $12m in the past week on a similar trade.

Both men worked for BNP Paribas previously. Kirbay left the French bank after six years in April and joined Barclays soon after that. Raveendran cut his teeth at J.P. Morgan for ten years, before spending two years at BNP until February 2015 and then setting up his own fund. He joined Deutsche in October 2017, in what now looks like a fortuitous move for the German bank.

BNP's macro trading team is generally considered to be one of its strongest, and ranked fourth to sixth globally last year according to Coalition. However, BNP's trading performance wasn't the best in the second quarter, and the French bank has been losing key staff from its EM business. Mary Egundebi, one of its top emerging markets salespeople in London, left for Standard Chartered in July, for example, while Simon Birch - BNP's former head of central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) fixed income trading, joined hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management in February.

Amidst the drama surrounding BNP's EM escapees, another former member of the team has quietly arrived at Goldman Sachs. We first reported that Ivan Levchenko was off to Goldman Sachs in June. Now it seems that the ex-BNP head of CEEMEA distribution has landed at the America bank as an executive director, just in time for the next leg of the Turkish crisis. Levchenko previously spent nine years at BNP. While he's in sales rather than trading, Goldman will be hoping he proves even half as lucrative as Raveendran at Deutsche Bank.

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