It's not easy working for a Japanese bank in London right now. Nomura has already made one big round of redundancies and is rumoured to have another round to come (amidst its upgrading). MUFG insiders say the bank is also preparing another round of London securities layoffs following a first round earlier this year. And Mizuho's credit trading team is (allegedly) gripped by politics following the appointment of a former Credit Suisse trader to run the fixed income business last year.
The ex-CS trader in question is Zahra Peerbhoy, whom Mizuho International recruited in November 2017. Peerbhoy, who previously spent 24 years at Credit Suisse, has set about hiring some of her former colleagues to the Japanese bank. Her arrival has also coincided with the departure of some of Mizuho's long-serving staff.
Peerbhoy's ex-Credit Suisse recruits include Tanya Kiefer, who arrived in April 2018 and who has been appointed head of European cross-asset sales at the Japanese bank, despite focusing mostly on Swiss clients previously. She also hired Michael Armer, whose February arrival we previously highlighted in light of the fact that he left Credit Suisse in 2014 and spent the intervening years consulting.
Meanwhile, Mizuho's established senior staff have been disappearing. Graham Halliday, a former head of fixed income trading and COO for the front office, left after 21 years in August and is looking for another job. Tara Dudar, the former head of EMEA central bank sales, is understood to have gone, along with Grant Wiltshire, the former co-head of credit sales. All three have yet to resurface, although other ex-Mizuho credit traders have successfully found new homes. Andrew Crutchlow, for example, joined Goldman Sachs in July and credit trader James Daunt is thought to be off to UBS. BNP Paribas is also said to sniffing around the Japanese bank's credit team as it looks to rebuild its business.
The expectation is that there may be further exits from Mizuho's team in the months to come. Michel Ramon, Mizuho's former co-head of European credit sales is focusing on Germany and Austria under Peerbhoy, and Christian Santo, the former head of credit trading at the bank in London, is understood to have had his remit restricted. "There are a lot of unhappy people there," says one headhunter, speaking off the record.
Mizuho declined to comment. However, the bank is not doing badly - the most recent UK accounts for Mizuho International, for the year ending 31st March 2018, show profits more than doubling to £28m. And not all the recent hires have been from Credit Suisse: in September the bank hired Mark Currie from Deutsche Bank as head of sterling trading.
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