Merrill rebuilds local markets trading team

Merrill Lynch has rebuilt a six-strong local markets trading team in London during the past month, after natural attrition whittled the original team down to one.

The new team, which focuses on foreign exchange, interest rates, derivatives and structuring, largely for eastern European markets, complements an existing emerging markets team of 39 in the centre, said Juan Del Azar, global head of emerging markets in London.

The local markets team covers Turkey, Poland and central Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (including Russia), and South Africa. These markets are selected due to client activity, liquidity and the expectation that they will grow rapidly. "I have high expectations for the group," said Del Azar. "[These] countries are realising the need for local markets and less dependence on foreign investors."

The global emerging markets group consists of three parts -local markets, external markets and derivatives - which work alongside the forex desk.

Simon Birch will manage the new team. He joined Merrill from Barclays Capital in London, where he was head of rates for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Wojciech Kowalczyk, the surviving member of the former local markets team, covers Poland and central Europe. Azmi Dolen joined from Lehman Brothers in London and focuses on Turkey. Matthew Henning, previously at Toronto Dominion Bank in London, joined to cover South Africa. Kostantin Ivanov, from Merrill’s graduate programme, will develop the Russia and CIS business. Charlie Lovett-Turner, who will work on exotics across the team, also joins from Barclays Capital.

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