Credit Suisse makes surprise Q4 hire from HSBC in Hong Kong

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Credit Suisse’s Asian markets unit may have made a loss last quarter, and it may be the quiet season for hiring in Hong Kong (made even quieter by the impact of ongoing civil unrest)….but the Swiss bank isn’t averse to taking on senior Hong Kong traders when it needs to.

Tommy Shum has just joined Credit Suisse’s Hong Kong office in a director-level job focused on Delta One trading and prime products, according to his LinkedIn profile. The bank did not reply to a request to comment on his move.

Shum previously worked for HSBC, a firm he joined back in 2007 shortly after graduating from Université Paris Dauphine. His SFC licence indicates that he was authorised to deal in securities during almost all his tenure at HSBC, where he was most recently a director.

Joining a new bank deep into the fourth quarter means forgoing a bonus from your previous employer, although at a senior level some firms still offer sign-on payments to compensate new recruits.

Delta One specialists, who trade financial derivatives that track an underlying asset as closely as possible, remain sought after in Hong Kong, at least in comparison to those working in cash equities, some of whom have lost their jobs this year as banks such as Deutsche and MUFG make cuts.

Shum has joined Credit Suisse’s Asian markets division just weeks after it announced disappointing third-quarter results. Revenues were down 16% to CHF213m, mainly due to fixed income sales and trading revenues plummeting 51% to just CHF18m. Equity revenues also decreased 10%. These declines meant markets in Asia made a CHF34m loss for Q3.

However, as we reported in October, Credit Suisse traders in Asia like Shum shouldn’t necessarily be too worried about the stability of their jobs. CEO Tidjane Thiam, speaking at the release of Credit Suisse’s earnings report, said having a sales and trading capability in Asia is a “core part” of the bank’s long-term strategy, despite the region’s recent “weakness in trading volumes” that has affected all banks. Moreover, Thiam said markets employees in Asia bring in clients to other business lines, so they make an undisclosed but “very material” contribution to the firm that can’t be seen in the quarterly results. Thiam said he is also a longtime advocate of securitisation in Asia.

Image credit: Benoit Bruchez, Getty

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