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Jerry del Missier: taking derivatives mainstream

As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our April capital markets focus.

Jerry del Missier reaped the rewards as derivatives moved to the heart of modern finance, then experienced the backlash when public opinion turned against the side effects of innovation. 

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After starting work at Scotiabank in his native Canada, del Missier joined Bankers Trust to work in derivatives products in 1988, when the firm already had a reputation for innovative structuring and aggressive deal chasing.

He recalls that employees used to joke that Bankers Trust attracted two qualities in staff – that they were very bright and unemployable elsewhere – in what turned out to be a harbinger of future reputational problems.

Personal highlights for del Missier include the creation of the first protected equity notes in Canada and deals that were among the first to use pre-paid forwards to fuse derivatives with corporate finance, enabling small firms to target much bigger competitors for acquisitions.