There are times when Credit Suisse finds itself in possession of some special talent. Take Nas Al-khudairi, the bank’s former head of global cross asset electronic trading who went to Barclays. Al-Khudairi slipped out of CS in 2017, but as of last year it seems there’s a new prodigy in the building, and his presence hasn’t gone unnoticed at the top.
When Credit Suisse announced its results for the first quarter last week, the performance of its trading businesses was notably better than rivals’. In equities in particular, Credit Suisse achieved 10% year-on-year revenue growth, while every single rival experienced a double digit percentage decline.
For this, the Swiss bank may have one man in particular to thank: Ross Mtangi its New York-based global head of flow derivatives trading.
In the call accompanying Credit Suisse’s first quarter results, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam singled-out Mtangi for particular praise. Credit Suisse has been attracting “top talent” in equity derivatives, declared Thiam, adding that, “Ross Mtangi, he’s a name of the market,” before immediately observing that revenues in some areas of equity derivatives have tripled from one year to the next.
Mtangi only joined Credit Suisse from Bank of America in February 2018, so Thiam’s comments might be considered to refer to the effect he’s had on the bank’s derivatives revenues in the 14 months he turned up. Equity derivatives trading as a whole had its best quarter in five whole years, said Thiam.
Credit Suisse declined to comment on the miracle that is Mtangi, but the excellent trading quarter clearly wasn’t his doing alone. Under Mike Stewart, the global head of equities whom it hired from UBS in 2017, Credit Suisse has been doing some heavy hiring – Mtangi is just one of Stewart’s new men.
Even so, this wasn’t the first time Thiam singled out Mtangi for special praise. And Mtangi himself has an excellent pedigree – after graduating in economics from Harvard, he spent five years at JPMorgan before spending another 10 years at BofA. While some young traders skip from place to place, Mtangi served his time. BofA might wish he never left – its own equities sales and trading revenues fell 22% year-on-year in the first quarter.
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