Natwest Markets just hired the top quant who left Rokos in July

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Remember Vladimir Piterbarg? He's the top London quant who mysteriously disappeared from the Rokos Capital Management a few months ago. He's just turned up at Natwest Markets as head of quantitative analytics and development.

Insiders say Piterbarg's arrival was announced internally yesterday. He's understood to be reporting to Oliver Cooke, who is in charge of strategy for analytics, automation and technology at Natwest Markets.

Piterbarg is a big catch for the British bank. Prior to joining Rokos in May 2015, he was head of quantitative analytics at Barclays for 10 years. Before that, he spent seven years as co-head of quant research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Piterbarg has a PhD mathematics from the University of California and taught at the University of Chicago Mathematical Finance program for a number of years. Outside of banking quant circles, where he is something of a star, he is best known for authoring several books on interest rate modelling, which now sell for in excess of $100 each.

Natwest Markets has been busy building its sales and trading business in recent years. In July it re-hired Richard Gathercole, an RBS veteran.  Last year, when it was still known as RBS, it made around seven major hires in fixed income sales and trading.

Natwest Markets didn't have a great start to the year. Revenues fell 20% in the first half compared to the same period of 2017. However, the unit generated an operating profit of £46m compared to a loss of £185m in the prior period.

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