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Digitizing markets isn't as interesting as actually trading markets.

JPMorgan's head of digital markets quit to become a trader again

Pasquale Cataldi has left JPMorgan and is off to Nomura.

After nearly five years as head of digital markets at JPMorgan, Cataldi has quit and is on gardening leave.

Cataldi is joining Nomura as head of rates trading, starting in June 2022. He was head of European flow rates trading at Deutsche Bank and head of European rates trading at HSBC before leaving banking for a technology-focused career and then joining JPMorgan to innovate the JPM markets business in 2017.

In a post on LinkedIn, Cataldi suggests he's decided that trading is actually more interesting than trading technology, particularly at a time of geopolitical stress and rising rates. "While I am a strong believer in digitalisation and innovation in the financial markets, I also think that my time in trading and risk management roles is more valuable than ever in the current macro environment."

As we reported earlier this week, rates trading is the big area for hiring in 2022, with banks seeking to build out their desks after a strong first quarter and in anticipation of volatility inspired by quantitative tightening. However, talent is short after years of exits to hedge funds and electronic trading houses. 

Nomura lost two of its government bond traders to Citigroup this month. It also downscaled its macro trading business in 2018, shortly after hiring a roster of people from NatWest markets. Cataldi's hire suggests it might be building the team back up again.

Nomura has invested heavily in digitizing markets itself. The Japanese bank hired Jez Mohideen from Brevan Howard as its global chief digital officer for the wholesale business in 2018.  Cataldi said he looks forward to working closely with Mohideen's group.

Cataldi is understood to be replacing Tom Heenan at Nomura. Heenan left late last year following a $30m loss on inflation trades. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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