Commerz plans to market to clients structured products such as callable bonds and credit-linked notes, and to a lesser extent plain-vanilla interest-rate swaps. Swaps will be less of a client focusthat market is dominated by Japanese banks and with business so competitive, margins are wafer thin, Avril said.
Commerz hopes to gain market share by leveraging off informal partnerships it has forged recently with a number of Japanese regional securities houses. The partnerships give Commerz access to a wider retail client base, Avril explained.
As part of the push, Commerz last week hired Pawan Kalia, a director and swaps trader at UBS Warburg in Tokyo, as a fixed-income trader. In early December it hired Alain Groshens, an interest-rate derivatives trader at SG in Tokyo, to the new position of exotics trader. Both report to Russell Worth, who heads the fixed-income team.
At UBS Warburg Kalia reported to Keiichi Tanaka, head of derivatives trading in Tokyo, according to a spokeswoman, who declined to provide further details. Tanaka did not return calls.