Bill Levy, managing director and head of hedge fund sales for the equity derivatives group at Morgan Stanley, has jumped ship to join Lehman Brothers, according to officials at both firms. The move is seen as a boost to Lehman's flow derivatives business and elevates the firm's presence in the hedge fund market, according to two market officials. David Gittings, head of the global equity derivatives marketing group at Lehman, will now co-head the group with Levy. Both co-heads report to John Wickham, global head of equity sales at Lehman. Levy could not be reached and Gittings and Wickham did not return calls. Bill Ahearn, a Lehman spokesman, also did not return calls.
"Lehman has been trying to redouble their exposure to [the hedge fund] market since the beginning of the year, when they brought over the barrier options group from CSFB (DW, 1/21)," according to one market official.
"He's an excellent salesman," enthused an equity derivatives salesman in New York. "He has good relationships he'll be able to bring those to Lehman," he added. "This guy earned a lot of cash for Morgan Stanley. His experience in the hedge fund market made him a valuable asset," commented another market official.
Morgan Stanley is not thought to have named a successor for Levy, but rivals said his loss will have a limited impact on the group because the firm has a "deep talented bench" of marketers. While at Morgan Stanley, Levy reported to Rick Gould, global head of equity derivatives marketing. Gould and Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Melissa Stonberg did not return calls.