Natixis Hires for Asia Equity Derivatives as Rivals Retreat

  • Bank hires four derivative professionals since March: Reille
  • Ambroise Frey starting next week, people familiar say

Natixis SA is adding equity derivatives traders and sales people across the Asia-Pacific region in response to client demand for high-yielding products.

The French bank has hired four derivatives professionals since March with more in the pipeline, according to Nicolas Reille, the head of equity derivatives sales for Asia Pacific at Natixis in Hong Kong. “We have been hiring from banks pulling back from the region and will continue to do so,” he said. “Lower rates in Asia are positive for the equity derivatives business as we can offer products with higher returns to investors.”

The latest addition is Ambroise Frey, a former derivatives trader at Morgan Stanley who is set to start next week, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. A spokesman for Morgan Stanley didn’t immediately comment. Natixis declined to comment.

In April, Natixis hired Masato Ushikubo from Barclays Plc as a director covering Japan equity derivatives sales in its Tokyo office. It also hired two derivatives salesmen from Standard Chartered Plc: Malcolm Thomas, who joined as a managing director covering equity derivatives sales for Southeast Asia and Australia in March, and Philippe Banon, a director in fixed income solution sales for Southeast Asia in April.

The hiring comes as global banks face shrinking trading revenue due to an economic slowdown in China and a rising interest rate regime in the U.S. Barclays said in January it would shut its Asian cash equities operations while Standard Chartered announced a shuttering of its equity derivatives business last October. Morgan Stanley cut equity derivatives positions earlier this year. Regional sales of equity derivatives plunged by 55 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to data from 12 global banks compiled by Coalition Development Ltd.

Central banks in Japan, Korea, Australia and India have lowered benchmark rates this year, making it harder for investors to generate returns from bank deposits. Last month, Toby Lawson, Societe Generale SA’s head of global markets for Australia, said that the country’s interest rate cut may drive demand for products that use derivatives.

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