Ganesh Rajendras departure from Deutsche came as a shock
European securitization research has lost many of its biggest names in recent months. News that Ganesh Rajendra and Markus Hermann have left Deutsche Bank and HSBC as heads of research, compounds the growing feeling that banks are scaling back their commitment to the business and to their investors. At Deutsche Bank the departure of the head of international ABS research, the highly regarded Rajendra, was a shock. Rajendra is a stalwart of the securitization research sector. He joined Deutsche in 2001 from Merrill Lynch at a time when the German bank was ramping up its business, having hired a high-profile team of bankers from Credit Suisse First Boston. Rajendras ABS team came top of the annual Euromoneyfixed-income research poll twice during the past five years and obtained a top three position in this period.
Deutsche Bank continues to publish research on international ABS as it has three analysts still on the desk. The same cannot be said of HSBC, which lost two analysts several months ago. In recent weeks, Citi has lost Birgit Specht. Specht was hired from Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in 2005 in a high-profile raid that included Sophia Kauntze, when the market was red hot. In fact in 2005 Spechts group was also a winner of the Euromoney poll when she was still at DrKW.
For the US bank to abandon specialized securitization research completely is remarkable. Another big name, Krishna Prasad, is no longer in his seat, although he left Lehman well before its demise for the buy side, going to Pimco.
Of the 15 firms that investors voted for in Euromoneys annual fixed-income research poll only nine have the same lead analyst(s) in place.
In recent years, banks have reduced their fixed-income research capabilities, at first downsizing and then shifting the analysts onto the trading desks to provide traders with support for ideas. But securitization as a product had, hitherto, maintained some support for its investor base. Of the biggest names in European ABS research over at Merrill Lynch, Alex Batchvarov remains, as does Ron Thompson at RBS.
Note: Euromoneys annual credit research poll, which was previously published in May, will now be part of the wider primary debt poll and published in our June issue.