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It didn't happen.

Credit Suisse credit traders still waiting for retention payments

He came and he went and people still don't seem any happier. 

Sources at Credit Suisse say Joel Kent's visit to London last week didn't result in any new retention bonuses, but it did seemingly coincide with more job cuts. 

Kent's visit from New York last week was meant to stabilize the Credit Suisse credit sales and trading business ('global credit products) following the removal of various team members and ahead of its transplantation into CS First Boston. 

Credit Suisse isn't commenting, but sources say Kent's message to CS credit professionals in both London and New York has effectively been, "I have no information and if you don't like it, you can leave."

Kent was promoted to global head of credit product at Credit Suisse in September, but insiders suggest he's comparatively powerless when it comes to keeping his team happy. Instead, the real power to determine the future of the credit team lies with Michael Klein, who will be the chief executive of CS First Boston, and David Miller, who will be Klein's second in command. 

As members of the credit team jostle for position and seek to avoid the purge, it's proximity to Miller in particular that's seen as the new way of getting ahead. Miller's people are said to include the likes of Jason Safriet, who runs credit sales for Credit Suisse out of New York. 

As the credit business cuts costs, some unlikely people are being ejected. As we reported last week, they include high performing female managing directors in sales like Amy Emmanuel, who'd been at Credit Suisse for two decades, or Adrienne Lucier, who'd worked there since 2010. Sources say that Patrick White, a director in high yield Credit Sales who'd been at the bank since 2008 also left in recent weeks, and that various other people were let go in London last week. 

As Credit Suisse salespeople and traders wonder if they're going to get pushed, headhunters say the best people are in danger of being picked off. Deutsche Bank already recruited Diego Discepoli, the head of the EMEA business, and other banks are sniffing around too. "Most people there are willing to discuss opportunities," says one London headhunter. 

In theory, Credit Suisse traders should at least be locked in by last year's bonuses, which included a cash component that can be clawed back if they leave. In reality, headhunters say most hiring banks are willing to buy any previous bonuses that are left in the table. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
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