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Goldman Sachs Hires JPMorgan’s Mirza to Run Currency Trading

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which generated one-third of its profit from trading last year, hired Kayhan Mirza from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as global head of foreign-exchange trading.

Mirza, 38, accepted a position as partner at Goldman Sachs, Michael DuVally, a spokesman for the New York-based bank, said today by phone. DuVally declined to comment on reporting lines in the business, which Guy Saidenberg has been running. Saidenberg declined to comment when reached at his office.

Currency-trading revenue at the 10 largest global investment banks declined 9 percent in 2013, according to industry analytics firm Coalition Ltd. Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz said in October that the bank’s currency business had “difficulty managing inventory” in the third quarter as the firm posted its worst fixed-income trading revenue since the financial crisis.

Mirza had served as JPMorgan’s head of foreign-exchange trading in Europe, Middle East and Africa and global head of FX options trading. Brian Marchiony, a spokesman for New York-based JPMorgan, declined to comment.

Goldman Sachs lost at least two partners from its currency-trading business this year. Leland Lim, co-head of macro trading for Asia ex-Japan, left to start a hedge fund. Steven Cho, global head of spot and forward trading of G-10 currencies in New York, also departed.

Electronic Trading

At least a dozen regulators are investigating allegations first reported by Bloomberg News in June that traders colluded to rig benchmarks in the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market. That is boosting demand from clients for greater transparency in pricing and transaction charges, accelerating a longer-term shift in trading onto electronic platforms.

Electronic dealing, which accounted for 66 percent of all currency transactions in 2013 and 20 percent in 2001, will increase to 76 percent within five years, according to Aite Group LLC, a Boston-based consulting firm that reviewed Bank for International Settlements data.

Deutsche Bank AG, UBS AG, Citigroup Inc. and Barclays Plc are the four biggest currency-trading banks, according to a Greenwich Associates survey released today. Those firms captured 47 percent of trading volume among top customers in 2013, up from 41 percent in 2012, according to Greenwich.

JPMorgan was the fifth-ranked bank globally, with 6.2 percent of market share, according to the survey. Goldman Sachs wasn’t in the top five.

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