Was it Deutsche Bank? Was it London? Was it both? Who knows for sure, but one of Deutsche's hottest young managing directors has quit the German bank and resurfaced at....BNP Paribas in Hong Kong.
When we spoke to him in 2015, Hamzah Kahloon was the head of structuring for Deutsche Bank in the MENA and Turkey regions. Headhunters say he was subsequently also given responsibility for special situations structuring globally. Deutsche Bank declined to comment, but ex-DB colleagues say Kahloon quit around three months ago. After a period of gardening leave, he's recently surfaced at BNP Paribas' Asian operation, where he's said to be responsible for cross asset class structuring and solutions in APAC.
Kahloon's exit isn't indicative of upheaval in Deutsche's structuring business. Head of structuring James Davies has been with the bank 17 years and Sean Flanagan, the bank's global head of equity structuring, has been there since 2010, when he joined from Citi. However, Deutsche's structurers have experienced some changes. The former global head of structuring Ram Nayak was promoted to lead the bank's fixed income business two years ago, and Flanagan was given his role only after the former head of equity structuring, Tom Leake, quit for Goldman in November 2016.
In light of his success at Deutsche, Kahloon's exit is curious though. Headhunters say he was promoted to MD in 2012, just seven years after joining from university and that he was on a fast track at the bank. His move to BNP in Asia suggests it wasn't fast enough.
Kahloon's exit from Deutsche around July also suggests that BNP bought out his bonus. Last year, Deutsche Bank scrapped performance bonuses for staff above associate level. This year, the German bank has promised to pay people although weak performance at the bank's trading business might mitigate against extreme generosity.
More than a bigger bonus, headhunters suggest Kahloon was likely drawn by a bigger job title and BNP's bigger commitment to structured products. He may also have wanted to work in Hong Kong. After all, taxes are lower there and there's no Brexit to contend with.
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Photo credit: Hong Kong from The Peak by Dhilung Kirat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.