Monday, August 3, 2009

Morgan Stanley hires Citi’s Sopp for FX trading

Singapore: Morgan Stanley has hired Stuart Sopp from Citigroup as its Asia head of G-10 spot currency and forward trading, sources close to the matter said.

Sopp, who was previously Citigroup's Singapore-based head of G-10 spot FX trading, would move to Hong Kong to start his new job at Morgan Stanley, sources said.

The hiring is a sign of Morgan Stanley's focus on forex and flow business, one of the sources said, as investor appetite grows for plain vanilla products after a market meltdown last year saw demand wane for riskier derivatives and hedge funds.

Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley said last month they would join a group of banks supporting a joint venture between foreign exchange settlement provider CLS Group and interdealer broker ICAP plc to reduce risks in processing.

Morgan Stanley is looking to hire sales and trading professionals in all major trading centres across the world, the source said.

Morgan Stanley, which became a bank holding company last year, repaid $10 billion from the government's troubled asset relief program in the last quarter when it posted a third straight quarterly loss.

For Citi, Sopp's departure comes less than a year after he joined the US bank from Deutsche Bank.

A Citigroup spokesman confirmed Sopp's departure. Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the move.

Citi, which vowed to remain focused on Asia, has struggled to retain high-profile executives in the past few months. The bank, one of the worst hit by the financial crisis, has taken $45 billion in bailouts from the US government.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which was bailed out by the British government, lost Ivan Ferraroni, its head of forex sales and trading in Tokyo, to Barclays, according to Barclays on Tuesday.

It comes a few months after RBS lost David Dredge, deputy global head of local markets at RBS and a key risk trader, to Artradis Fund Management, Singapore's largest hedge fund manager.