Mar 29, 2023
Citigroup Adds More Sterling Traders After Revenue Boost From 2022’s Truss Turmoil
(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. is bolstering its sterling rates desk after its traders saw revenue more than double last year.
Citigroup plans to hire three more junior traders after outperforming during the market turmoil that followed the UK government’s mini-budget in September, Su Liu, head of sterling trading within the rates division, said in an interview.
Traders made in excess of $200 million last year on gilts and sterling swaps and inflation, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the information is private.
Liu and a spokeswoman for Citigroup declined to comment on the numbers.
City of London firms benefitted in 2022 as UK inflation soared and the Bank of England hiked interest rates to the highest level in 15 years. The biggest 25 banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, made $3 billion from their sterling rates businesses in 2022, according to Vali Analytics. That was up nearly 45% on 2021 and close to three times the annual average between 2015 and 2019.
It isn’t clear whether the recent market volatility inflicted losses on some desks. Nomura Holdings Inc.’s rates traders bounced back from market volatility fueled by this month’s banking industry woes after the turmoil initially inflicted modest losses, the head of its wholesale business said this month.
Read More: Nomura Rates Traders Recouped Early Losses From Bank Turmoil
Liu, a veteran of BNP Paribas SA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., joined Citigroup in August 2021. She hired swap, short-end and inflation traders in the first half of 2022 and merged three teams into one, she said in an interview. She brought in an athletics coach to build morale, she said.
“I studied neuroscience so I am really interested in motivation and what makes people perform at a high level,” she said. “When it was very volatile and stressful, we could allocate resources to the need very quickly.”
The coming year could see more opportunities for Wall Street in sterling rates, said Jordan Galhardo-Burnett, head of publications and insight at Expand Research.
“Most are expecting to see some stabilization in the speed of rate changes as inflationary forces weaken,” he said. “But any movement in rates creates opportunity for the sell-side.”
--With assistance from Philip Aldrick and Donal Griffin.
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