Barclays Launches European Credit Push
Barclays Capital has hired two top level credit derivatives professionals in a bid to become a major player in the European CDO and credit-default swap markets, according to Eileen Murphy, global head of agency CDOs in New York. The firm hired Paul Varotsis, executive director in structured credit trading at Lehman Brothers in London and the European chairman of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association's credit derivatives market practice committee, in the new position of European head of agency CDOs. It has also brought on Olivier Staub, managing director and flow credit derivatives trader at Bear Stearns in London, as a director in a similar position. Varotsis and Staub declined comment.
Rival credit derivatives professionals said there is more to breaking into one of the hottest businesses around than hiring two big names and said Barclays still has a lot of work to do. For example, HSBC hired two industry veterans Rick Ziwot, global head of structured credit products, and Rick Briggs, global head of trading for structured credit products, from Bank of America in May 2001, but has not established itself as a major credit derivatives player.
Murphy said building a top-notch CDO and credit derivatives business is on the executive committee's list of priorities. She added that the firm's AA credit rating will give it an edge when dealing with end investors. Several other major derivatives houses, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, are rated A plus.
Varotsis will report to Murphy when he starts later this month and Staub will report to Andrew Whittle, head of credit derivatives trading in London.
At Lehman, Varotsis reported to Mark Ames, executive director and head of European credit trading and CDOs in London. Staub reported to Whittle at Bear Stearns until he joined Barclays earlier this year.