In his new position as senior currency strategist for Merrill Lynch in London, Neil MacKinnon says he is focusing primarily on short-term moves in the major currencies, but that he is also contributing to the firm’s longer term forecasts in the wider FX markets, including emerging markets.
“This as a very exciting and challenging opportunity for me, and I’m looking forward to helping build the FX business for Merrill Lynch,” MacKinnon says.
MacKinnon, who joined Merrill in late July, was previously Citibank’s chief currency economist in London for nearly seven years. He left Citi in April 1998, and has spent the past year working as an independent consultant.
Given his previous experience on the commercial banking side, MacKinnon says the move to an investment bank is only really noticeable in terms of the client base. “There are more hedge funds and financial institutions relative to Citi, but the product and most of the other clients are much the same,” he says, “But at the end of the day, forecasting exchange rates is no easier at a commercial bank versus an investment bank.”