Disaffected credit derivatives staff lack opportunities

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Recruiters say there is dissatisfaction in the credit derivatives community following unimpressive bonuses.

"Credit derivatives people have been paid very variably this year," says one headhunter specialising in the sector. "More than a few are interested in moving on."

Suggestions of itchy feet coincide with a report in Derivatives Week that Deutsche Bank has lost another six traders and structurers from its London credit derivatives team. Three are said to be following in the footsteps of Paul Levy, co-head of credit structuring at Deutsche Bank, who left last week to join Merrill Lynch. The other three are understood to be leaving the industry.

The departures come despite reports that Deutsche was one of the better payers in this year's bonus round.

However, the headhunter says low bonuses were not the issue at Deutsche. "Levy left because his scope to operate freely was reduced after Bertrand des Pallieres joined from JPMorgan last August," he says. "Levy had an immense of latitude and an incredibly broad remit, and that was narrowed."

Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Other credit derivatives specialists looking to move may be less fortunate than Levy & co. when it comes to finding alternative positions. "Very few banks are building in credit derivatives right now," says the headhunter. "There's a lot of appetite for moving, but with margins in credit derivatives falling and the market turning down, the real question is whether anyone will be able to command any more money somewhere new."