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Wall Street banks are battling for these particular salespeople

Banks are engaged in a war for talent as they look to build up their foreign exchange and rates offerings to corporate and financial sponsor clients with a string of hires over the last three months.

Th summer may have been a quiet time for markets, but it was unusually hectic for  banks looking to add talent to their fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) teams, particularly in areas that deal with corporate clients.

The hiring spree began in July when BNP Paribas poached RBC veteran Scott Sinawi as head of corporate sales for the Americas as part of an expansion drive.

The French bank is cutting staff in some areas but its FICC business is strong, particularly in rates and FX.

Sinawi was running corporate risk solutions at RBC, which then plugged its gap by recruiting Greg Hart, who's joining in November from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was head of corporate rates origination.  At RBC he will report to Jeff Fields, Head of North American FICC Sales, according to an internal memo from RBC on September 6.

Hall is the latest executive to leave Bank of America’s rates business.  Last month, MUFG poached David Paster as head of U.S. head of Corporate Sales. Paster will be based in New York and will join MUFG as a managing director in the autumn. He will report to Bill Mansfield and Tatsuo Ichioka, head and deputy regional head of global markets for the Americas at MUFG.

In this newly created role, Paster will work closely with MUFG’s Global Corporate and Investment Banking, Capital Markets, and Regional Bank businesses to strengthen the bank’s corporate client relationships, MUFG said in a statement.

One source said the departures of Hart and Paster, who both quit on the same day, served as a blow to Jill Schwartz, BAML’s global head of corporate rates and FX who was hired by Tom Montag a year ago from Barclays.

Meanwhile, MUFG’s rival Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) has also beefed up its presence in corporate FX, with the hire of Andy Fately a market veteran who was previously at RBC.

The hiring is showing no sign of slowing down. Banks like BNP Paribas are looking to increase the range of services they offer to corporate clients. This has been a development in recent years as banks have bolstered their client businesses that provide fee-driven income such as cash management and transaction banking, activities which require FX and rates hedging solutions.

The cash management business in the U.S. was traditionally dominated by Citi and JP Morgan but now foreign banks are beefing up, while Goldman Sachs has also launched a cash management business as part of much-publicised push to diversify its trading operation away from its traditional strength in serving hedge funds and institutional clients, a business that has been hit by a downturn in FICC.

There is also activity from banks building up teams covering financial sponsors. To prove it's not all one-way traffic from BAML, the bank has hired Michael Buenaventura from JP Morgan to work with Nikolas Baptiste, who joined in May as head of rates and FX rate solutions for financial sponsors from Morgan Stanley.

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

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AUTHORDavid Rothnie Insider Comment

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