A 35-year-old stock-trading star and head of equity derivatives in the Americas has quit Bank of America Merrill Lynch after a year and a half at the firm.
William “Bill” Hillegass ditched Barclays to run equity derivatives in the US for Bank of America in August 2017, but now he’s leaving the bank to join a top buy-side firm, according to people familiar with the matter.
It wasn’t immediately clear which firm Hillegass is headed to.
A Bank of America spokeswoman declined to comment. Hillegass did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hillegass is one of a slew of top equity derivatives traders to switch posts in the past year amid a rebound in the business and a war for talent.
As volatility surged back in early 2018 and stoked the derivatives markets, a merry-go-round of traders swapped seats at big banks. Bank of America, for instance, lost Ross Mtangi last spring to Credit Suisse, which hired him as global head of flow derivatives. Shortly after, the bank turned around and hired David Kim away from JPMorgan Chase.
Some are predicting another rash of moves in equities now that bonuses for 2018 – a stellar year for equity derivatives revenues – have been announced or paid out at most banks, and Hillegass may just be the first domino to fall.
The trader started his career at UBS in 2003, before joining Lehman Brothers in 2007 just prior to the financial crisis, according to his LinkedIn profile. Hillegass then spent eight years at Barclays.
This story is developing.