How to leave a French bank for a bigger job at a Japanese one

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If you were looking for an exemplar of what happens when you leave your job at a U.S. bank for a French bank and then you leave the French bank for a Japanese bank, Catalin Rusu would seem to be it.

Rusu began his career in credit trading at Citi in 2007 and moved to SocGen in 2017. He was a mere director at SocGen, but Rusu just joined SMBC Nikko Capital Markets as the head of credit trading for London. That sounds a lot more impressive.

While Rusu's big new job title is to be commended, it's also a notable example of trading a second tier bank for a fourth or fifth tier bank in return for more responsibility and a more prestigious-sounding job. Citi ranks around third for credit trading according to intelligence firm Coalition, SocGen ranks between 10th and 12th; SMBC doesn't even get a mention.

Rusu's ex-colleagues at SocGen may nonetheless be interested in his progress, particularly as SMBC seems to be hiring while SocGen is doing the opposite. In October, the Japanese bank recruited Robert Balch as head of fixed income sales and trading for EMEA. Balch was previously managing director and global head of credit distribution at UBS, a role that he left in August 2018.

SocGen has been encouraging staff to take voluntary redundancy. People buying-in to the plan get a generous severance package and manage to avoid SocGen's punitive five month notice period, which makes it very difficult for most traders to ever leave. Rusu seems to have escaped comparatively painlessly.

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Photo by Arthur Goldstein on Unsplash


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