It's not long ago that BNP Paribas finalized its purchase of Deutsche Bank's prime finance and electronic equities business. The process began in June 2020 and was completed in early January this year. As part of the move, BNP acquired various senior equities professionals from DB, but as we've noted before not all of them are sticking around.
The latest to disappear is James Rubinstein, the former Americas head of electronic equities at Deutsche Bank. Rubinstein moved to BNP Paribas in April 2021. Less than a year later, he's gone again to become head of execution and quantitative services for the Americas at Liquidnet.
Rubinstein joined DB in 2018 after nearly 13 years at UBS, and given the state of Deutsche's business at the time was likely induced to move by Deutsche's then-head of equities, Peter Selman. That inducement will now be far in the past, and BNP Paribas isn't known for being exorbitantly generous when it comes to compensation.
Liquidnet is the sort of non-bank electronic trading venue identified by Goldman Sachs as a tier one competitor in its proxy statement last week. An institutional trading network and dark pool operator, it's an agency broker in equities and fixed income products and was acquired by TP ICAP in 2020. After cutting front office headcount by 20% in the years preceding the merger, Liquidnet has been running lean with around 500 employees and is looking to add talent. It currently has around 25 roles open globally.
Rubinstein isn't the only ex-DB person to decide that BNP Paribas isn't a place to stay. There have been numerous other exits from the prime broking and electronic trading teams in the past two years.
BNP Paribas has been making bullish statements about its growth plans, but profits in its global markets business fell by 14% in 2021. Insiders suggest there's some instability within the bank it tries to fuse its existing business together with the Exane and the business it aquired from DB.
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