Even as 31 October looms into view, most banks are still hesitant about preemptively shifting staff to offices in Europe. EY estimates that only 1,000 jobs have been moved from London so far. Bank of America, however, is ahead of the pack. Its new Paris office is already close to having 400 people, and has been accumulating new ones monthly.
This month alone, BofA's La Poste office in the eighth arrondissement has welcomed Eddy Bitar, an inflation trader from SocGen in Paris, plus Ilari Hietanen, a Nordic FX salesman from Barclays in London. In August (while Paris is typically on holiday), it hired Anne-Sophie Gueguen from Natixis as equities COO. And in July it hired Stefano Rossetto from Morgan Stanley as a vice president in debt capital markets and Gilles Tre-hardy from Lazard as an MD in telecoms M&A.
The latest moves follow some vigorous hiring earlier in the summer at BofA in Paris. And in a sign that the French sales and trading operation is now functioning fully, last week BofA announced that Christian Treuer had been appointed as head of EU equities sales and head of EMEA client solutions distribution and that Arnaud Lannic had been appointed as head of EU equities trading and head of EMEA equities client solutions trading.
Although Morgan Stanley has had a big Paris presence for some time, sources say BofA appears to be benefitting from first mover advantages as London-based bankers looking for a French exit are "intrigued" about its public decision to build up a new European office ahead of Brexit. Treuer himself spent most of his career at Barclays in London before moving to La Poste earlier this year. Raphael Benoliel, a rates options trader, who joined from JPMorgan in June, was previously based in London.
Bank of America declined to comment for this article, but BofA's Paris hiring is expected to continue, with sources suggesting that the next round of recruitment is likely to focus on juniors to add to the "spine" of senior and back office staff already in place.
Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash
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