It hasn't been a great year for fixed income sales and trading. Most banks had a dreadful third quarter. Bank of America, however, didn't do as badly as others however - revenues in its fixed income sales and trading business fell a mere 20% year-on-year in Q3, compared to declines of 35%+ at the likes of Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
Bank of America may have a rush of sales and trading hiring to thank for its out-performance. Insiders at the bank say 2013 has been a big year for recruiting in London. The graph below (generated by financial services M&A advisor IMAS), shows a steady increase in the number of staff at Banc of America Securities who were registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) between January and August 2013.
FCA Registered staff at Banc of America Securities in London, 2013
FCA-Registered headcount has dropped off at Banc of America Securities in the last few months, but the bank looks set to end the year with 6% more registered staff than it began. Headhunters point to several big name hires in the rates and FX business. In recent months, for example, the bank has hired Panos Yiasoumi, former head of European government bond trading at Morgan Stanley, Snigdha Singh, a director in rates trading from HSBC and Jared Noering, a former senior treasury trader at Deutsche Bank.
This follows a raft of junior-to-senior level fixed income hires earlier in the year, including the likes of Moise Saidi, a gilt trader from Credit Suisse and Lifei Liang, an inflation trader from UBS.
Bank of America didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on hiring at its UK securities arm. However, the head of one fixed income trading boutique, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the bank has done more hiring than rivals in the space. "They've had places to fill and have had the bit between their teeth."
He added that Banc of America Securities is in a similar position to Citi's European sales and trading business, which has also been hiring: "They're both US banks and are a good place to be now compared to European houses. It's been a bit opportunistic."