WestLB raids HSBC to rebuild New York forex

Dominic Larche has joined the bank as head of forex forwards, reporting to Mike East, treasurer in London. Larche manages a team of two, working alongside existing forwards trader Rob Ely.

Scott Spelker joins as head of spot forex, reporting to global spot head Richard Hill in Dusseldorf. Currently the only spot trader at WestLB in New York, his appointment ends a two-month hiatus during which WestLB had no spot traders in the city. Traders from the bank’s Dusseldorf and Tokyo trading centres transferred to New York temporarily to fill the gap. More hires will follow in New York, with the bank set to hire two more spot traders this quarter, said Sean Peter Tully, managing director of the money market unit of WestLB global financial markets in New York. The bank is also investigating bringing in more options traders in New York, said Tully. The global options team is managed by Frank Weissbach in London.The hires follow the departures in March of spot traders John Munley and John Callaghan, and in February of spot forex head James Bovery.Tully took on his current position in an August 2000 reorganisation of the bank, following which his group tripled its budgeted expectations in 2001. "It was a phenomenal year," said Tully. But the FX desk did not meet the bank’s expectations, he said. "It was an OK performance," said Tully. "But because we had raised expectations, it was equivalent to what they had done for years."Instead of pursuing a stable revenue stream, Tully believes there is more money to be made from foreign exchange, both from working with the bank’s client base and in taking proprietary risk, he told RiskNews' sister publication FX Week. "You can make good money from FX, I don’t think it’s going to go away."Spelker joins WestLB with 17 years’ market experience, most recently as a senior spot forex trader at HSBC in New York. He joined that bank when it bought Republic National Bank of New York in December 1999, where Spelker was head of spot foreign exchange. Larche, who has worked in the markets for 15 years, left HSBC earlier this year. He has previously worked at Bank of America and the former Chase Manhattan Bank.

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