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Deutsche Bank Head Debt Trader Cornut Leaves for Hedge Fund

Deutsche Bank Head Debt Trader Cornut Leaves for Hedge Fund
The New Town Hall is reflected in a window of a Deutsche Bank AG branch in Munich, Germany. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Antoine Cornut, Deutsche Bank AG’s head of flow-credit trading in the Americas and Europe, has left the bank for a hedge fund as regulations designed to curb risk-taking transform the corporate-bond market.

Cornut departed this week, according to two people familiar with the move. Tom Hartnett was named to oversee investment-grade credit in North America in addition to interest-rate products. Tom Higbie, a credit analyst, departed this week for hedge fund Solus Alternative Asset Management LP, where he’ll be a managing director, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the changes haven’t been made public.

Lenders responding to the Dodd-Frank and Basel III financial-regulation overhauls are reducing their holdings of corporate debt, with primary-dealer inventories dropping 83 percent from a 2007 peak to $39.9 billion as of July 18, Federal Reserve data show. At least 10 credit traders have left Deutsche Bank’s New York trading desk since the beginning of 2011 as the lender limited cash bonuses.

Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, the third most-active underwriter of corporate bonds worldwide this year, and Hartnett declined to comment, said Duncan King, a spokesman in New York. Cornut didn’t respond to messages left today on his mobile phone. Higbie also declined to comment.

Bonus Limits

Cash bonuses were capped last year at 100,000 euros ($123,780) at Deutsche Bank, 65,000 pounds ($102,323) at U.K. lender Barclays Plc, and $125,000 at Morgan Stanley in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For some at Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp., cash bonuses were limited to $150,000.

At Solus, Higbie will reunite with Scott Martin and C.J. Lanktree, who joined the firm after departing as co-heads of Deutsche Bank’s the distressed products group, the New York-based fund said Feb. 15 in a statement.

Credit traders Prakash Narayanan, John Silvetz and Thomas Curran, who together made more than $1 billion for Germany’s biggest bank in 2009 and 2010, left last year for hedge funds, people familiar with the matter said.

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