Another busy week with more high-profile appointments, new products, platforms and indices.

J.P. Morgan appointed two new co-heads of equities quant research. Maxence Hardy and Louis Moussu will share the responsibilities previously held by Hans Buehler, the former global head of equities and investor services quants, according to a memo seen by SRP. 

Hardy and Moussu will serve as co-heads of quantitative research within the bank’s equities business covering the multiple responsibilities of their predecessor. The former will primarily focus on cash, prime and clearing while Moussu will look after derivatives and investable indices. Both will join the quantitative research and equities management teams, and report to Olivier Robert, global head of CIB quantitative research.

Another US bank, Citi, announced the promotion of Valentin Valderrabano as chief operating officer for Citi Global Wealth.

Valderrabano takes over the responsibilities of Eduardo A Martinez Campos who was appointed group head, Citi Wealth Services and Strategic Investments, earlier in March. He reports to Jim O’Donnell, head of Citi Global Wealth Management. 

We are collaborating closely with Qontigo to expand the different types of products in our range - Oktay Kavrak, Leverage Shares

On the products front, Garantum collaborated with Goldman Sachs for the launch of Warrant Hedge nr 4514 in Sweden.

The warrant has a tenor of five months and offers access to an equally weighted index basket comprising the OMX Stockholm 30, S&P 500, and Eurostoxx 50. It sold SEK180m (€16.9m), making it the best-selling Swedish product in 2022 to date, well above the market average of SEK15.

The product is designed for those investors who want to hedge themselves against possible stock markets falls in the underlying indices, without having to make major divestments in their existing portfolio, according to Lars Falk, structurer and head of fund platform, Garantum.

In Asia, Standard Chartered Bank is offering unlisted equity-linked investments (ELIs) on US stocks issued by three investment banks in Hong Kong SAR with approximately US$10m notional amount of the flow products traded within the first month of the launch in the second week of May. 

The UK bank is the first distributor with an open architecture to offer US stocks via ELIs.

Over in Malaysia, RHB Bank targeted institutional investors with Shariah-complaint principal-protected structures linked to proprietary indices, including multi-asset strategies with ESG filters.

The Islamic structured investment linked to index (SILX) are based on the Islamic banking practices - Musawamah, Wa’d, Commodity Murabahah and Wakalah.  

UK ETP provider Leverage Shares has licensed a suite of new Stoxx indices from Qontigo to underlie its latest single stock short and leveraged exchange-traded products (ETPs).

A total of 25 new indices have been introduced tracking strategies on 16 securities, including companies from Germany, the Netherlands and South Korea for the first time. ETPs on most strategies were listed on the London Stock Exchange on 9 June. 

“We are collaborating closely with Qontigo to expand the different types of products in our range and adding new underlyings such as European and Asian stocks,” Oktay Kavrak, ETP product strategist at Leverage Shares, told SRP.

Natixis Investment Managers has launched Asset Studio, a new fully automated platform developed in partnership with seven FinTechs, as part of its ‘digital innovation and client excellence strategy’.

The new platform offers a set of functionalities such as portfolio construction, optimisation and analysis tools, and it is targeted to institutional investors, independent financial advisors (IFAs) and private banks seeking to access tailor-made products via an ‘interactive and secure’ platform.

Citigroup Global Markets Funding Luxembourg (CGMFL) issued 19,726 structured notes worth US$30.5 billion under its global medium-term note programme in 2021.

The company also issued 7,106 securities under the Citi warrant programme. Of these, 2,961 are index-linked certificates which sold US$2.6 billion, and 4,145 are warrants worth US$4.8 billion.

‘During the year 2021, the company has continued to issue structured products, increasing the volume of new instruments issued by 78% and the net proceeds from new instruments by 62%,’ the board of directors stated in the annual accounts.

Although it does not have direct exposures in Russia or Ukraine, the board of CGMFL stated it does hold a small Russian rouble cash balance equivalent to US$582,000 with Citibank in Russia and has US$30m outstanding in RUB-denominated issued structured products. These represent less than 0.15% of the total assets of the company.

In Belgium, structured products collected sales of €305m (US$321m) on the primary market during the first quarter of 2022, down 45% year-on-year (Q1 2021: €557m), according to the latest figures released by the Belgian Structured Investment Products Association (Belsipa).

Turnover of structured products sold on the secondary market amounted to €326m, down 38% YoY and a decline of six percent compared to Q4 2021.

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