JPMorgan Hires HSBC Trader to Start Prime Broker in Africa

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. rehired a trader from HSBC Holdings Plc as the biggest U.S. bank sets up prime brokerage operations in South Africa for the first time.

Lebogang Moropa rejoined the bank this month in Johannesburg and will focus on “synthetic and cash prime brokerage and securities lending,” JPMorgan spokesman Patrick Burton said in an e-mailed response to questions. The hiring marks the first time JPMorgan has a “dedicated presence” for prime brokerage and equity finance in South Africa after previously offering the service from outside Africa, he said.

Moropa’s hiring follows recent moves among U.S. and British banks in equity derivatives and equity finance. Morgan Stanley recently hired Eric Govind from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., two people with knowledge of the matter said last month. In March, Imraan Moola stepped down as head of Citigroup’s equity derivatives trading for the EMEA region in London.

Moropa was previously an equity derivatives trader with HSBC in South Africa, having moved to the bank from JPMorgan.

Prime brokerage services offer selected clients the possibility to borrow securities and cash for their own use.

JPMorgan has considered shrinking its prime brokerage business as well as other areas because of new capital rules, Daniel Pinto, chief executive officer of the investment banking unit, said in February. JPMorgan in June lost its position as the biggest derivatives dealer in the U.S. to Citigroup Inc.