UBS Hires Junk-Debt Traders Chang, Raman From Morgan Stanley

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG hired traders Jeff Chang and Vivek Raman from Morgan Stanley as Switzerland’s biggest bank bolsters its junk-debt trading business in the U.S.

Chang and Raman left Morgan Stanley on Friday and will start at UBS in October and September, respectively, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Chang is joining as an executive director overseeing U.S. high-yield corporate bond trading in New York, reporting to Philip Olesen, who heads credit trading globally. Raman joins as a director.

Erica Chase, a UBS spokeswoman, confirmed they were hired but declined to elaborate. Mark Lake, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley, declined to comment, as did Raman. Chang didn’t return a message seeking comment.

The move shows UBS’s interest in picking up talent after investment bank chief Andrea Orcel signaled last month his division is halting, a least temporarily, years of job cuts that have taken a toll on fixed-income operations. Morgan Stanley decided late last year to pull back from some areas of fixed-income trading after Chief Executive Officer James Gorman concluded chances are low the market will soon rebound from a long slump. In June, he said the firm is done with dismissals in the division and is “rebuilding morale.”

Morgan Stanley’s fixed-income business is capable of generating $4 billion in annual revenue, he said at the time, after cutting 25 percent of staff. It shrank or shut desks focusing on sovereign credit-default swaps, currencies outside of the G-10 group, and Asia distressed securities and commodities.

RBC’s Hires

The UBS hires add to leadership changes across the industry this year on desks handling trading in speculative debt. Two months ago, Deutsche Bank AG tapped James Nessel from Citigroup Inc. to run its U.S. high-yield bond trading team as Timothy Fischer stepped down from the role. At Citigroup, Amit Raja was named to oversee high-yield trading in Europe, the Middle East and Africa after another trading executive left. At Credit Suisse, Matthew Courey stepped down as head of high-yield bond trading in London and joined a startup. And Dan McCarthy became U.S. head of leveraged finance trading, leaving Peter Meyer sole head of U.S. high yield trading.

Separately at Morgan Stanley, high-yield trader Marc Aiello left the firm last month, the people said, asking not to be identified because the departures weren’t announced. He joined Royal Bank of Canada this week as a vice president, reporting to Sal Morale, who heads high yield, distressed debt and loan trading.

The unit “continues to grow and gain market share,” Morale said in a statement confirming the addition. Another Morgan Stanley employee, David Schulte, joined RBC earlier this year as a vice president focusing on high-yield trading.