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Derivatives

JPMorgan Pulls Off Deutsche Bank Coup

JPMorgan has hired Brian Zeitlin, managing director and global co-head of collateralized debt obligations and the credit hybrid business at Deutsche Bank in New York, and four senior members of his team.

JPMorgan has hired Brian Zeitlin, managing director and global co-head of collateralized debt obligations and the credit hybrid business at Deutsche Bank in New York, and four senior members of his team. Zeitlin is widely regarded as a rainmaker in the North American CDO market. JPMorgan professionals will not only be celebrating a massive hire, but also a blow to Deutsche Bank's structured credit team, according to credit professionals. Officials at JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank declined comment. The hire comes amid a talent drain of Deutsche Bank's structured credit group. In recent months Scott Eaton, co-head of Winchester Capital Principal Finance, left to join the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Ross Taylor co-head of structured credit trading for North America, also left the firm. In Europe, Michel Iskander, managing director and European head of structuring, took a similar position at Barclays Capital, and Seth Vance, head of collateralized debt obligations in London, joined Scottish Re--a Bermuda-based global life reinsurance specialist--as president and ceo of the Americas division.

Deutsche Bank insiders speculated that some of the departures were sparked by internal reorganizations. For example, in March the firm merged Zeitlin's CDO business with Mark Stainton's credit hybrid operation and the two became co-heads. In addition, it set up a structured credit trading division, which saw Taylor become co-head with Kevin Bell. This unit competed with Eaton's Winchester Capital to a certain extent because the new unit's focus was partly on principal finance.

Deutsche Bank insiders said they are afraid these departures will weaken the firm's dominant position in the structured credit market because a lot of the experience is leaving the firm. One said the German bank has seen exceptional growth since the start of the credit derivatives market and is struggling with making the transformation from an entrepreneurial shop to its new-found status as a bulge bracket firm.

The other members of Zeitlin's team joining JPMorgan are James Millard, James Kane, both managing directors, and Yale Baron and Steven Weinreich.

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