Lehman Brothers has hired three senior interest-rate derivatives marketers and an options trader from J.P. Morgan in New York. The quartet is the latest in a wave of interest-rate derivatives bankers who have resigned from J.P. Morgan and Chase Manhattan since the two firm's merger and following bonus payouts last month (DW, 2/5, 2/12).
Kaushik Amin, managing director and global co-head of interest-rate products at Lehman in New York, said the four are taking similar roles at Lehman. The hires are opportunistic. "If I come across more talented people, I could hire more," he added, noting that three of the positions are new. Amin declined comment on their reasons for leaving J.P. Morgan.
The four are Jeff Michaels, v.p. and head of U.S. dollar interest-rate options trading; Ajay Nagpal, managing director and head of U.S. interest-rate derivatives marketing for the asset side; Sujal Kapadia, v.p. and head of U.S. corporate interest-rate derivatives marketing, and Rajan Kundra, v.p. and U.S. corporate interest-rate derivatives marketer. Kapadia declined comment, while the other hires could not be reached or did not return calls.
Rival bankers who have interviewed interest-rate derivatives professionals from J.P. Morgan Chase said that the departures are being spurred by a number of factors. Most senior managers in the group are from the Chase side, and Chase has traditionally allowed traders lower risk limits than Morgan. While limits in the merged group are not yet clear, many from the Morgan side fear a decrease in limits will make their jobs less interesting.
Chase had a culture that favored proprietary trading, a culture that marketers fear could continue. Derivatives pros from Morgan saw their stock and options vested when the merger was completed. Others reason that since many bankers at the merged firm are reporting to new managers anyway, they might as well look for positions elsewhere. A spokesman for Morgan declined comment on the individual departures, but said that charges that J.P. Morgan is not client oriented are "patently false. Our culture is client and market-making oriented first and foremost." He added that overlap in the two groups and the vested stock and options "explain a lot about what's going on here."