Now's a good time to work in equity derivatives

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The start of the year was a relatively tough time for equity derivatives professionals, with many firms paring back their teams as a result of some fairly substantial losses. Now, however, they're enjoying something of a change of fortune.

Nomura, Barclays Capital, Rabobank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Daiwa Securities SMBC have all made some senior hires in equity derivatives recently, according to Financial News.

The sector has experienced "significant flows from pension funds, sovereign funds and asset managers" in the second quarter of 2009, says Emmanuel Dray, global head of delta one trading at BNP Paribas.

"Many banks are currently hiring across equity derivatives in EMEA," says John Burr, director of the capital markets division at Principal Search. "Several of the houses that reduced their teams in the last 12 months are now reinvesting as well as upgrading in both trading and sales, whilst other firms are actively building their businesses by hiring small teams and by making key headline hires to attract others to a new platform."

Headhunters tell us that Citi, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are all in the market for equity derivatives staff, while The Deal also points out that JPMorgan, Focus Capital, Deutsche Bank and IJC Partners are all looking for people.

It seems that hiring within the sector has seen something of a resurgence, but one headhunter who specialises in equity derivatives warns against over-egging the pudding.

"Banks have been forced to make emergency hires because they've over-cut and the reduced teams can't handle the now increased workloads," they say. "It's not a complete turnaround, I know a good number of experienced equity derivatives traders who are still struggling to find a new position."

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