Debt trading poll 2007: A year to separate the men from the boys
The Euromoney debt trading poll is in its second year, and quite a year it has been. Twelve months ago credit houses were hosing their customers with liquidity in a market awash with happy traders. The action had moved out of the cash market and into a thriving derivatives sector. Structured products and indices were flourishing. "You are no longer a bond trader," Henrik Raber, head of credit trading at UBS, was saying to his staff. "You are a trader in multiple asset classes."
Now multiple asset classes have been drained of the liquidity they were swimming in last year. Many trading houses have been caught napping. Several members of the banking nobility have suffered heavy losses in credit trading. Merrill Lynch fell foul originating CDOs with sub-prime mortgages, and lost its head of fixed-income trading along with its money. Osman Semerci was followed out the door by the co-head of fixed income, currencies and commodities, Dale Lattanzio. Citi has cast off Tom Maheras, co-head of banking and markets. And there are others. Deutsche Bank announced billions of euros-worth of losses (€2.2 billion of charges relating to leveraged loans, structured credit products and trading), although Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, has been reported as saying that the German bank sees substantial opportunities in investment banking after this period of correction.
One would hope so. Deutsche Bank has slipped from fourth in the poll’s market share category to 13th this year, although the bank did score well with investors in the poll’s other categories.