Morgan Stanley latest bank to lose traders to merchant firm

Thu Sep 6, 2012 6:07pm EDT
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By Jeanine Prezioso

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote) gasoline traders in Europe are set to join Swiss commodity trader Mercuria, a source said on Thursday, the latest Wall Street bank to lose traders to aggressive merchants.

Morgan Stanley Managing Director Leo Sint Nicolaas, as well as Sebastian Ferraccù and Louis Mitchell, are expected to move from London to Geneva to work for Mercuria, the source said.

With bonus caps, new U.S. regulations and Wall Street job cuts, banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote) and Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote) have lost dozens of traders this year, many of them to hedge funds or expanding merchant-dealers that face fewer restrictions on trading limits and salaries.

But until now, Morgan Stanley had not faced the attrition of commodities and energy personnel despite a well-publicized bonus caps at $125,000, diminished physical trading and a potential partial sale of its mammoth commodity trading desk to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.

"This is the first real chip I've seen coming out of that business. I'm not hearing a huge amount of people are moving. It's a really unusual time of year," said a source familiar with the trading group.

The news was first reported on

Spokespeople for Morgan Stanley and Mercuria declined to comment.

LONG EXODUS   Continued...

The headquarters of Morgan Stanley is seen in New York June 1, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer