Less than a year after cutting back its cash equities unit in Asia, BNP Paribas has made a senior hire in the sector.
Antony Chiu rejoined the French bank in Hong Kong in January as a director and Greater China sales trader, specialising in cash equities and Delta One.
Chiu worked for BNP between March 2011 and October 2013 in a similar director-level position. He then moved to Credit Suisse’s cash equities trading team in Hong Kong before his former firm poached him back.
His hire follows BNP’s decision in May last year to cut about 40 jobs in its cash equities unit in Asia, including more than a dozen in Hong Kong. Other banks, most notably Barclays and Standard Chartered, also culled Asian equities jobs in 2016 as profit margins tightened due to market volatility.
However, Chiu’s skill set means he has stayed in demand, say headhunters.
At BNP, he is partly focused on “selling Delta One products” – including “custom indices and thematic baskets” – in Asia, according to his online profile.
“Delta One is one of the few areas in equities that has continued to grow in recent years and all the big banks continue to invest in it – whether that be in technology or people,” says former Jefferies trader Warwick Pearmund, now an associate director at Harvey Nash Executive Search in Hong Kong.
Chiu is also trading via the Shanghai-Hong Kong and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect programmes.
“There’s a continual flow of funds from China to Hong Kong in 2017 and candidates experienced in the Stock Connects are in demand,” says Stanley Soh, a Hong Kong-based regional country director of financial services solutions in Asia.
“But recruitment is cautious and only people with successful track records at previous banks are getting hired,” he adds.
Chiu is not the only senior hire in Hong Kong equities this year. Daniel Murphy joined UBS from J.P. Morgan this month as Asia Pacific head of equities sales and trading.
Away from the senior musical chairs, headhunters do not expect the job market in Asia equities to recover in 2017 as technology reduces the need to rebuild headcount.
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