It's been a good year to work on an emerging markets desk. Although market intelligence firm Coalition says emerging markets macro revenues were down 2% year-on-year in the first half, banks have been determined to build up their emerging markets desks. And they continue to do so, even as we hit the fourth quarter.
The latest big(gish) hire is Ansar Ali, an emerging markets rates trader who's just joined UBS as an executive director after seven years at SocGen (where he was a director).
Ali isn't UBS's first emerging markets hire this year. UBS poached senior EM trader Dmitry Khoroshavtsev from Goldman in June, although he has yet to officially join. Both men are part of a bigger rebuilding of UBS's macro sales and trading business.
Within macro, however, it's emerging markets which stands out as the big growth area this year across the market as a whole. While traders say most FX desks are down by a double digit percentage this year, emerging markets desks are understood to be largely flat. This may be one reason banks like Credit Suisse, SocGen, Nomura, Goldman and Jefferies have been hiring in EM this year, triggering off musical chairs across the market.
By hiring this late in the year, banks are also indicating that 2018 is expected to be strong for emerging markets desks. Ali's arrival at UBS now suggests he may even have had his bonus bought out by the Swiss bank. If you're looking for the best place to work in fixed income now, emerging markets would seem to be it.
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