Citigroup to rebuild after major credit derivatives defections

Barclays Capital has poached eight New York-based credit derivatives traders from Citigroup, including Doug Warren, a managing director, as well as Jonathan Koerner and Gregory Tell, both directors.

The other losses from Citigroup are Geoffrey Gentile, Ted Husveth, Aleksander Rabiner, Alex Salmon and Anthony Trears. In total they represented more than a quarter of Citigroup’s credit derivatives trading team, who will now all be reporting to Vince Balducci, head of credit derivatives trading in New York at the British bank.

A spokeswoman at Citigroup denied this was a major loss for the bank, suggesting that the management was, in fact, happy to have the room to push forward in reorganising its credit team. “We’re ready to go to the next level and are happy we now have the room to either hire internally or outside the firm.”

A Citigroup internal memo dated October 19 announced a reorganisation of its credit business, with Steve Jones heading the global structured credit products desk and Sumit Roy as chief operating officer. There were no more details about how many positions the firm is looking to add in credit derivatives.

Barclays Capital did not comment on the hires or on Citigroup’s indifference to the loss. However, a financial recruitment specialist said Barclays had been looking to improve its correlation trading capabilities for almost a year without much success, and this represented a major step forward. The recruitment drive is certainly part of Barclays’ continuing aggressive expansion in the credit markets and elsewhere – they are reported to be seeking a further 200 traders by the end of the first quarter of 2005.

Citigroup will almost certainly be active in hiring seasoned credit derivatives traders in the near future.

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