John Griff, president and ceo of HSBC Securities USA, and Ferdie Masucci, head of capital markets, trading and research at the firm, have been let go, as reported on BondWeek.com last Thursday. Masucci declined to comment when reached at his home. Griff did not return calls placed to his home. Their dismissal follows the departure of some 12 senior salespeople, the majority of the debt capital markets group, at least two senior analysts and a senior trader (BW, 5/6, 6/9, 6/12, 7/28).
HSBC's Treasury desk and corporate bond desk have reportedly suffered heavy trading losses late last year and early this year. Though the losses were said to total some $60 million in May, the corporate losses, which were pegged at $45 million over two months ago (BW, 5/6), are assumed be significantly worse at this point due to further deterioration in the credit markets. Senior bond executives say trading losses are particularly damaging to HSBC because the firm it is not a major underwriter. The firm ranked 15th in the U.S. corporate bond underwriting league tables in 2001, and is in the same position so far this year, according to Bloomberg.
HSBC announced last Wednesday that Mark Bucknall, former head of Asian debt finance at HSBC Holdings, has joined HSBC Securities as head of capital markets Americas and chief executive HSBC Securities USA. It is believed that the role of Joe Petri, senior executive v.p., Treasury, has also been expanded, but that could not be confirmed. Petri did not return calls, nor did Iain Stewart, chairman of investment banking and markets for the Americas, to whom Griff reported. Bucknall could not be reached. Pamela Plehn, an HSBC spokeswoman, declined to comment.