Wachovia hires equity derivatives traders

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Wachovia has hired three equity derivatives traders in London but recruiters say the bank has yet to build a distribution team, so salespeople could be next. There are several likely sources.

Derivatives Week reports the the three are up and running: Stephane Carty, previously head of vanilla single stock trading at Commerzbank Corporates & Markets, and Michael Paterson, a trader in Carty's group, have joined David Little, a senior equity options trader at Bear Stearns in London, at Wachovia.

Little had no comment on the bank's move, but recruiters had some advice for the bank.

"The next step for Wachovia will be to hire equity derivatives salespeople and structurers," says one specialist recruiter in the area. "They can leverage off their New York engineering team for a while, but at some point they will need a European distribution capability."

When all the European regions are taken into account, he suggests Wachovia could need as many as 10 equity derivatives salespeople in Europe. "The best example is Bank of America," he says. "After bringing in eight equity derivative salespeople and traders last September, BofA is still aggressively hiring in this area."

Wachovia and BofA could find plenty of competition for staff. "There is a big emphasis on equity derivatives in 2006: several banks are looking to build their teams," says Alex Blair, a derivatives consultant at recruiter Mantis Partners.

Andrew Littlestone, an equity derivatives specialist at search firm Kinsey Allen, says Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, are all building in equity derivatives: "Basically, every single house on the Street is hiring."

Where will the new staff come from? Following bonus payouts, recruiters say there are several sources of dissatisfaction. Italian and Spanish equity derivatives salespeople apparently didn't do too well at Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley's sales staff are understood not to be particularly happy. There are also reports of itchy feet at Nomura, the Japanese bank which built a UK equity derivatives franchise in 2004.