Macquarie Bank has taken more than half of the former BT Australia forex division, which was acquired in July as part of the bank’s wider purchase of Bankers Trust’s investment banking activities in Australia.
Simon Wright, who heads FX for Macquarie, says the bank has restructured the forex division to make way for the new dealers by shifting interest rate swaps and options into the debt markets division. A few of Macquarie’s FX team have also been redeployed into other areas of the bank.
“We have effectively merged a large part of those BT staff into a ‘Gunners’ Macquarie Bank,” says Wright. “Our businesses were reasonably different. BT was strong in G7 and Macquarie was strong in the Australian dollar.”
Some of the 17 BT dealers that have moved across include Jeff Bowmer on the domestic sales team and Kim Gilbert in institutional sales.
Macquarie’s forex structure is reasonably flat. Guy Reynolds oversees spot and institutional marketing. David Bavin heads currency options. The balance reports to FX manager Wright.
Macquarie previously had 32 dealers covering a wider range of products within FX, but with the restructuring and addition of the BT staff, Macquarie’s FX division has grown to 42 dealers, covering domestic sales, structured products, currency options, spot (including interbank dollar/yen and euro/dollar), forwards and some proprietary trading, as well as a night desk.
“The merger so far, has been extraordinary. We’re culturally similar and there isn’t much overlap in terms of the customer base,” says Wright, “BT predominantly focused on the top 20-30 corporates in Australia, while we targeted the middle tier, which we felt was more open to our product offerings, which focused largely on options.”
“It’s a good opportunity for us. There were previously a lot of businesses we were interested in, but didn’t have the franchise to pursue it. Now, our challenge is sorting out credit lines and selling Macquarie’s new balance sheet, which has essentially doubled in size.”
Separately, Mark O’Leary, who was on the institutional sales team, has left the FX markets – and moved into equities at Macquarie for a “change of scenery”.
The trading floor will be relocating to the new Macquarie Bank building at 1 Martin Place in late October/early November.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank has picked up the entire BT New Zealand forex operation, which numbered around 10 dealers. Drew Bradford, who ran BT’s trading and sales operation from Auckland, now oversees a “virtual centre”, encompassing Sydney and New Zealand. Bradford has relocated to Sydney, where he runs the group with counterpart Ian Town, who now oversees sales.
Across both centres, Deutsche’s forex team now has about 25 dealers. In Auckland, a few of BT’s dealers have been named as managers. Sean Brown oversees spot trading, Rob Mandeno heads FX forwards.
Separately, Deutsche has relocated its Australian and New Zealand options trading from Tokyo to Sydney.
Among those who have not joined either Macquarie or Deutsche are executive vice president Luciano Febo, BT’s head of FX in Sydney, as well as sales manager Matt Gilmore. Keith Ryan was among the few BT Australia dealers who moved across to Deutsche, where he is now on the institutional sales desk.