Inflation traders: The rare beasts hunted by banks & hedge funds in 2023
It's been over a year. Bloomberg first called the sudden rush of inflation trader recruitment in early 2022. 18 months later, it's still going strong and conceivably has a way to go.
"There are so many gaps everywhere," says the one of the top headhunters in the inflation trading space. "It's a very small market, and when you have a lot of people moving, it leaves holes."
This year's inflation trading moves have happened in New York. They have happened in London. They've involved banks, and they've involved hedge funds.
In banking, the biggest movers include Guy Winkworth, who joined Barclays in London from Deutsche Bank, as head of sterling products and euro inflation, and Igor Cashyn, who joined Barclays in New York from JPMorgan as head of US dollar inflation. But there's also Joaquin del Soto, the top Goldman Sachs inflation trader in London who left last week, or David Dorman, a US inflation trader who quietly went from UBS to Morgan Stanley in May.
Hedge funds that have joined the stampede include BlueCrest, which hired Romaan Qayyum from UBS in London this June.
"Last year, a lot of the moves involved sterling inflation traders," says the headhunter, pointing to moves out of NatWest and elsewhere. This year, he says the moves are far more focused on euro and dollar inflation traders. "Banks and hedge funds have both got a lot of demand. Hedge funds are hiring from banks and banks are struggling to replace traders they lose to hedge funds because this is a niche product."
Pay is concomitantly high. Seven figure multi-year packages are not uncommon.
Why are inflation traders so popular? Last year, revenues earned from trading the products in banks doubled to $4bn.
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