Nomura-owned agency broker Instinet will be back in the hiring market looking for high-touch sales traders this autumn. However, there is a caveat. Asian volumes need to pick up from their summer lull in July-August.
In Asia, autumn volumes usually (but not always) improve on volumes traded at the height of summer, when markets are quiet and traders go on holiday.
According to Instinet’s Asia Pacific CEO, Shaun Bramham, the firm was staffed at an appropriate level for the size of its business this summer. However, Instinet is now re-forecasting for the second half and expects that markets will return to April-June volumes, but does not expect any increase beyond that.
“If we continue to grow market share we may become active again in hiring. We’ve doubled the number of clients that we’re actively trading with and doubled our exchange market share in Asia ex-Japan,” he says. “If that progresses and volumes return to before the summer slowdown, we’ll look again at hiring in high-touch sales trading.”
A year has now passed since the Nomura/Instinet integration was officially confirmed.
“Post that announcement, we focused on preserving the best Nomura and Instinet sales traders in seat,” says Bramham.
Reaction to the change for the group was positive and in the spring, plans were set in motion to build the high-touch sales trading team.
At the end of May 2013, Instinet hired Karan Wadhera as head of regional sales trading from another entity within the Nomura Group. They firm also picked up Joe Hancock as a director on the Instinet regional sales trading team. He joined from Mirae Asset Securities.
It will be a challenge for trading conditions to permit further increases to Asian brokerage staff. Currently Asian trading is difficult, in anticipation of Federal Reserve gradually reducing liquidity support. Long-only buyers may be side-lined until there is clarity and their passivity would affect volumes.
Does Bramham believe his clients find the current volatility is good for clients’ business?
“In our conversations with clients about markets such as India and Indonesia, the feedback is no. Volatility in single name stocks isn’t something they find encouraging.”