Maybe making managing director (MD) at Goldman Sachs isn’t what it was? Following last year’s bumper promotion round, several of the people who received Goldman’s second highest accolade have already quit.

Nick Laux, the London-based head of single stocks derivatives trading and a Goldman Sachs lifer, is the latest exit. Laux joined the firm in 2011 according to FINRA and was made MD in last November’s promotion round.

Goldman Sachs didn’t respond to a request to comment on the move. Laux remains registered with the firm according to FINRA, but is no longer at his desk.

Laux’s exit comes after those of Mai Shin and James Westwood.  Shin and Westwood were also promoted to MD last year and both have left Goldman for start-ups. Laux is thought to be joining Morgan Stanley.

It’s not just MDs. Executive directors are leaving too. Goldman Sachs has suffered various exits from its London equity derivatives team this year, including executive directors Francesco Taglietti and James Spooner in May. Several others are said to have left alongside Laux, including Borzu Masoudi, a New York-based equity derivatives trader who only joined from Deutsche Bank in July 2017. Masoudi is said to have been a rising star at GS and part of the team that reportedly made $200m in a single day earlier this year. Headhunters point to complaints about politics and a top-heavy hierarchy made worse by last year’s bumper promotion round.

The exits from Goldman’s London and New York equity derivatives teams come as the firm has been hiring in both Paris and London. In January, for example, Goldman hired Spencer Cross, the former head of equity index volatility trading at Deutsche Bank for its London team. Earlier this month, David Solomon, Goldman’s CEO-in-waiting, said the firm intends to grow its corporate equity derivatives business as it seeks to expand its corporate client base.

Research firm Coalition said equity derivatives revenues increased 56% between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. Goldman isn’t the only one hiring and losing staff in the area. Citi just recruited Mohand-Saïd Ladaoui, a former equity derivatives VP at Barclays in London.

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