ABN AMRO in London plans to add three senior sales professionals to its Italian credit distribution team. Alberto Matta, who joined as head of distribution to Italy at the end of June from BNP Paribas (BW, 7/5), is looking to hire one professional each for government bonds, structured rates and structured credit by year-end. Hires of another three juniors will follow next year, he expects, with a target team size of 12-14. "There are only two or three investment banks with a strong presence in Italy and ABN AMRO is gearing up to be the top player in that market," he noted.
Matta emphasized that given regulatory restrictions on retail investment in structured credit in Italy, that business is currently on hold and retail clients seem to have re-discovered a taste for structured rate products. Nevertheless, institutional investors continue to be attracted by structured credit products because low interest rates and tight credit spreads have created a difficult operating environment for money managers.