Barclays Rethinks Macro Trading Desks for Less Volatile Times
(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc is considering shaking up parts of its global markets unit that are underperforming as the lender prepares for volatility drying up after the pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter.
Global markets head C.S. Venkatakrishnan, known to colleagues as Venkat, told employees recently that while equities and credit trading had held up well lately, parts of its macro trading unit including European interest rates were struggling.
Venkat could bring in new talent to boost areas such as European rates trading, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private matters. Discussions with underperforming traders are ongoing and job cuts can’t be ruled out, said the people.
A spokesman at the London-based bank declined to comment.
European rates sits in the macro unit headed by Michael Lublinsky, a senior trader lured from hedge fund Brevan Howard in 2017. Barclays hired David Cross from Deutsche Bank AG earlier this year to co-head its European flow rates trading business.
Venkat has already approved a plan to resume carbon credit and emission trading after a decade-long hiatus, the people said. In investment banking, Paul Compton is targeting U.S. tech IPOs as an avenue for growth, they said. He has recently reshuffled his team in New York after a strong performance in capital markets and merger advisory.
Venkat and Compton were promoted last year to lead the corporate and investment bank, which is Barclays’s biggest source of revenue.
The bank in not alone in facing challenging markets after volatility in the early stages of the pandemic drove blowout earnings in 2020. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. predict revenue from fixed income, currencies and commodities will drop by 23% in the third quarter across the industry.
Barclays is due to report third-quarter earnings at the end of the month.
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