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Derivatives

JPMorgan Looks To Revitalize Credit

JPMorgan's decision to appoint Brian Zeitlin and Oldrich Masek, co-heads of the global structured credit business, could stop the recent hemorrhaging of staff and reaffirm the U.S. bulge bracket firm's position at the top of the credit derivatives market.

JPMorgan's decision to appoint Brian Zeitlin and Oldrich Masek, co-heads of the global structured credit business, could stop the recent hemorrhaging of staff and reaffirm the U.S. bulge bracket firm's position at the top of the credit derivatives market. As first reported last week on DW's Web site (www.derivativesweek.com) Masek and Zeitlin will report to Tony Best, head of European investor client management in London, and Carlos Hernandez, head of North American origination and distribution in New York. The memo adds Bertrand des Pallieres, global head of derivatives marketing, is taking a leave of absence.

Rivals credit des Pallieres with steering JPMorgan into the most lucrative and fast growing markets and Andy Brindle, a managing director in credit derivatives, with the risk management and staff management skills to keep the bank growing at a steady pace. Brindle's recent departure after 17 years of service and des Pallieres decision to take a leave of absence were therefore considered partly responsible for the recent departures of many senior staff.

Former colleagues of Zeitlin and Masek, however, think this pairing could work just as well. Masek is renowned in the structured credit market for being an excellent structurer. One former colleague said, "He can join dots others can't even see." He, like des Pallieres, is not without his idiosyncrasies. Another colleague said Masek is likely to disappear for several days, but will always come back with the right answer. This trait is likely one of the reasons for the co-head decision. Former associates of Zeitlin said he is a great manager. "His teams always function as a team and that says a lot about someone," said one colleague. In addition, if Masek has the structuring expertise, Zeitlin has the patter with the clients, noted bankers. Zeitlin is known by the asset management community and is universally liked, according to rivals.

The structured credit business at JPMorgan includes origination, structuring and product management of cash and synthetic CDOs and other structures. Zeitlin and Masek also take on responsibility for the quant advisory business and, in the U.S., credit hybrids structuring. In Asia, Mahesh Bulchandani and Toru Sano will continue to head structured credit.

 

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