Traders who joined Nomura at a tricky time are leaving

While most banks say their rates offices had a great first quarter and quantitative tightening is becoming a reality, headhunters say demand for rates traders is exceptionally strong in 2022.

As a result, a couple of traders who joined Nomura at a difficult time three years ago are now on the loose.

The two exits would be James Konrad, the former head of European government bonds at Nomura and Biagio Lapolla, a European government bond trader on his team. The two are expected to join Citigroup in London.

Nomura does not pay bonuses until May, so Citi is probably feeling generous and has almost certainly bought out Konrad and Lapolla’s bonuses. Nomura declined to comment.

Konrad and Lapolla joined Nomura in late 2018 from NatWest Global Markets. Clumsily, the Japanese bank announced that it “downscaling” its G10 FX, emerging markets and credit flows businesses in London shortly after their arrival. Under these circumstances, it was perhaps surprising that they stayed so long.

Last week, Citi reported a 1% year-over-year decline in fixed income sales and trading revenue in the first quarter. The bank said “strong client engagement in currencies, commodities and rates was offset by less activity in spreads. [credit] some products.”

A macro headhunter in London said there was a “constant demand” for talent and banks were adapting their offices to swings in interest rates and inflation.

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