Merrill Rolls Out Global Equity Prop Team

  • 11 Feb 2002
Email a colleague
Request a PDF

Merrill Lynch is forming a proprietary equity-linked trading group that will be spun off from its convertible bond group. The new effort, named the Strategic Risk Allocation Group, will take positions in over-the-counter equity derivatives and equity-linked notes, according to Olivier Deloire, head of European equity-linked trading in London. The move is regarded as a major departure for Merrill, since the firm has historically been risk averse, said rivals.

One reason for establishing the group is it will allow Merrill's convertibles group, which previously took some proprietary positions, to focus on client matters, said a recruiter familiar with the firm's plans.

Merrill has drafted in a pair of heavyweights to co-head the operation. Ajay Soni, managing director of Japanese equity derivatives in Tokyo, is relocating to London as co-head, and Jason Harkavy, head of equity-linked trading for the Americas in New York, assumes the other co-head position and will remain in New York. Both will report to Rafael Berber, head of global equity trading in London. Soni and Harkavy declined comment. Calls to Berber were not returned.

"They're not seen as a risk house," said a rival trader in London. He continued that the move is surprising because Merrill is typically not an aggressive market maker. Another equity professional said that as a market maker in relatively illiquid structured equity products, Merrill cannot escape taking on some proprietary risk, but the decision to establish a separate prop group is evidence of a new-found risk appetite.

 

  • 11 Feb 2002

All International Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Citi 241,977.38 927 8.19%
2 JPMorgan 223,817.40 997 7.58%
3 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 216,160.55 723 7.32%
4 Barclays 185,098.93 672 6.27%
5 Goldman Sachs 158,991.47 518 5.38%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 32,522.19 61 6.54%
2 BNP Paribas 32,284.10 130 6.49%
3 UniCredit 26,992.47 123 5.43%
4 SG Corporate & Investment Banking 26,569.73 97 5.34%
5 Credit Agricole CIB 23,807.36 111 4.79%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Goldman Sachs 10,167.68 46 8.81%
2 JPMorgan 9,894.90 42 8.58%
3 Citi 8,202.25 45 7.11%
4 UBS 6,098.17 23 5.29%
5 Credit Suisse 5,236.02 28 4.54%