Kemp takes foreign exchange helm at Merrill

Kemp, who leaves his position as head of forex trading at Morgan Stanley in New York, will succeed DeSa as managing director and global head of the foreign exchange group over the next few weeks. DeSa plans to pursue “some long-standing outside interests, both personal and professional” but will remain at Merrill until the end of June to assist in the transition, said Greg Fleming and Dow Kim, co-presidents of global markets and investment banking at the the firm in New York.

Sources close to the bank said they expect DeSa to set up a hedge fund in New York. “He is looking for a new challenge and loves building businesses,” said one.

At Merrill, DeSa’s hire in November 2001 marked the start of a massive forex hiring spree at Merrill that added more than 100 people over the course of two years.

Kemp, who was described by one former foreign exchange official as a “safe pair of hands”, left Morgan Stanley last Monday after almost eight years with the bank.

Jens Andersen, head of forwards at Morgan Stanley in New York, has expanded his responsibilities to include spot foreign exchange following Kemp’s departure.

Meanwhile, two Italian forex sales dealers from Merrill’s London office left earlier this month. Marco De Natale joined Credit Suisse First Boston in London on April 12 as a corporate foreign exchange sales dealer covering Italian clients. He reports to Simon Brunner, London-based head of corporate foreign exchange sales for Europe, excluding Switzerland. His former colleague Marco Garavello also left Merrill in April but his current whereabouts are unknown.

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