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Back in it for the long haul

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As the world reopens to travellers, some bankers are racking up thousands of air miles to take new jobs on other continents

Last week, the US finally reopened its borders to vaccinated holiday makers from Europe, some 20 months after the travel ban was imposed. But even before this was announced, some bankers were making long haul plans.

Howard Brocklehurst, for example, is relocating from London to New York to take a new senior FIG coverage role. The Morgan Stanley banker is expected to make the move towards the end of this year or early next.

Brocklehurst was until now head of FIG debt capital markets for the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Nordic countries. When he leaves, Charles-Antoine Dozin is set to take over.

But despite the travel restrictions, Brocklehurst is far from the only banker to be making a transatlantic transfer this year.

Other bankers that GlobalCapital has reported to have made the move from Europe to New York this year include JP Morgan levfin specialists Todd Rothman and David De Boltz and SEB's former public sector origination chief Karl-Johan Nystedt. Going the other way, meanwhile, was Isabelle Aussourd, who left her job as an industrials banker at HSBC in New York to take up an origination and advisory role at Deutsche Bank in Paris.

But these have not been the longest distance relocations. Citi's Phil Drury has relocated from London to San Francisco (5,351 miles or 8,611 km) while Bank of America's James Sadler has moved from Dubai to New York (6,836 miles or 11,000 km).

They are all blown out of the water, however, by Simon Rutz, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia DCM official who has returned to Sydney to take a job at Bank of America (10,553 miles or 16,983 km).

End of an era

But the really big news in the past week was the upcoming retirement of Jingdong Hua as treasurer of the World Bank.

GlobalCapital's Burhan Khadbai interviewed the SSA funding chief, who said he would "continue to speak and advocate" in favour of multilateralism in his retirement.

And he has travel plans, too.

“I left China in 1990 and although I visit often, I’ve never lived there since I left, so I’m looking forward to getting to know my home country much better,” he told GlobalCapital.

On the road

Meanwhile, domestic and shorter haul travel is also making a comeback as bond issuers meet investors and bankers catch up on the latest trends and flex their networking muscles at events.

One treasury team that has been getting about a lot of late is that of the Luxembourg-based European Stability Mechanism, whose travels have been documented on social media by CFO Kalin Anev Janse.

"Thank you to all Dutch investors for joining us in Amsterdam today," he posted on Thursday after a "socially distanced lunch discussion". "Great discussion on the path out of the pandemic, future of EMU and Europe's monetary and fiscal response."

Not everyone is so comfortable with the return to business is usual, though.

"I was a little uncomfortable," said a New York-based banker who recently attended a conference in Florida. "I didn't feel great, to be honest with you. It was just weird, right?"

At least the attendees at that conference were wearing masks.

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