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...As Options Head Departs

Steven Block, head of interest-rate trading at Commerzbank Securities in New York, left as part of the department's restructuring. Ashwin Kumar, head of fixed income proprietary trading in New York, has taken over Block's duties and no replacement for Block will be appointed, according to Edgar Mitchell, spokesman in New York. Mitchell declined comment on why Kumar was appointed over Block and whether Block was fired. Block could not be reached.

The restructuring is designed to link the firm's cash bond trading business with its fixed income derivatives business in the U.S. Commerzbank has already made this shift in London and Tokyo earlier this year, to leverage synergies between the two businesses. As part of the restructuring Kumar has been put in charge of interest-rate derivatives, agencies, government bonds and prop trading.

Block reported to Ricardo Pascoe, head of derivatives trading for the Americas in New York. Kumar reports to Pascoe. Both referred calls to Mitchell.

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