Deutsche Bank plans to hire up to five new structurers and sales professionals for its London-based structured products group as the current volatile global equity markets fuels demand for equity-linked notes. Johan Groothaert, managing director and head of equity structured products and alternative investments in London, said the bank currently has a team of roughly 50 staffers in the structured products group and is overstretched. He added he is looking to add the personnel in the new year.
Groothaert said the current market tone makes structured products attractive. "Our clients want to get rid of risk and the risky markets we have witnessed create a good opportunity for structured products." For example, the bank has created guaranteed notes on underlyings such as a basket of Chinese equities and a hedge fund index. "Equity markets may not have been good this year, but we have been no worse than last year in structured products," he added.
One of the hires will be a replacement for Moustapha Awada, who was involved in the modeling of structured products and recently left the firm. Groothaert declined comment on Awada's destination and he could not be reached.