Nordic FX professionals are in short supply

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Deutsche Bank is creating a satellite FX sales team in Stockholm dedicated to the Nordic region but, while international banks are increasingly eyeing up the Nordic FX market, a desperate shortage of local talent, plus residual post-recessionary caution could yet hamper further expansion in this area.

Deutsche's team will cater to institutional, sovereign, public sector, corporate and mid cap clients in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, and will be led by former Swedbank head of FX sales Tommy Rolke, who spent six years on Deutsche's FX sales team in London.

Also on the team will be former SEB FX sales specialist Martin Hessle and Peter Odefalk and Henrik Svensson, both previously at Nordea.

The fact they all have such intensive local experience is no accident, as the challenge of the Nordic FX market, according to one local recruiter, is that it is "small and everybody knows everybody".

"It is an incredibly close-knit market," agrees another recruiter who specialises in FX hires.

"If you look at many local FX sales teams it will often be that you have two senior people, probably in their fifties, and then a massive gap down to those with two years experience or less. And it is in that gap that many banks are wanting to hire," he adds.

While many FX professionals, such as Rolke, will look to do a stint in London, the obvious attraction of setting up satellite offices is that it is easier to attract in-demand local talent because of not needing to relocate, as well as offering the potential to sell a wider range of products or expand product knowledge.

As to whether other international players follow Deutsche's example, that, for the moment remains a moot point, argue recruiters.

"I think the expense of setting up satellite offices will mean a lot of banks will wait out this year and see how much money operators such as Deutsche make," says one.

"Anyone who goes to work in a satellite office also has to recognise that, if the market climate changes, then it could well be the first thing that will get cut," he adds.

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