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Derivatives

AIG Trading Cuts FX Staffers In Wake Of Merger

AIG Trading Group laid off several foreign exchange derivatives staffers last week as a result of its integration with sister outfit AIG Financial Products, said AIG spokesman Joe Norton in New York. Meanwhile there is speculation last week over whether John Finigan, president and ceo at AIG TG in Greenwich, Conn., will continue to work for the merged entity, with one official noting that Finigan's office has been cleared out. Finigan, reached at his home in Scarsdale, N.Y., declined comment. Norton declined to specify the number of employees laid off or comment on individuals.

The scale of the cutbacks, which leave only a few traders on the desk, has surprised many and raised questions over how dedicated the firm remains to foreign exchange flow trading, said officials. AIG TG had been aggressively building its market making foreign exchange operation until the merger was decided in the summer (DW, 6/1). Since then it has been leaking staffers (DW, 11/9). By cutting back AIG TG's flow operations, it is clear that AIG FP's strategy of focusing on long-term structured deals has won out, added an official.

Michael Zim, a senior fx options trader, was among the lay offs, which also included several junior options traders as well as spot traders and sales professionals, noted the official. Zim did not return calls. Don Lee, senior v.p., global head of foreign exchange options and head of foreign exchange at AIG TG in Greenwich, Conn., declined comment.

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