More Bear Stearns Mortgage Traders Move, Shift Firms

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), which had said publicly that it wanted to retain top executives and traders from its completed acquisition of Bear Stearns & Cos. earlier this month, is finding that goal much harder to achieve than it might have originally thought. A report at Bloomberg News on Monday evening found both Scott Eichel and Jeffrey Verschleiser, two of the firm’s top (remaining) mortgage traders, the latest to beat a path for the exits. Eichel was co-head of mortgages and asset-backed bond trading when Bear Stearns nearly imploded, while Verschleiser was co-head of Bear Stearns’s mortgage-trading business until late last year — actually replacing Eichel at the firm. Eichel is headed to RBS Greenwich Capital Markets, Bloomberg reported, although it’s not clear what role he will assume at the Connecticut-based firm. Verschleiser will head over to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), where he’ll manage — what else? — mortgage activities at the firm. (We think it’s safe to say neither will be handling trade desks for private-party subprime RMBS.) It’s been a veritable exodus of talent from Bear since the firm was saved from near-collapse in a deal that saw the Federal Reserve $30 billion of the mortgage-heavy Wall Street firm’s most illiquid assets. Jeff Mayer and Craig Overlander, co-heads of fixed income, departed JPMorgan in late May as questions, still unanswered, began bubbling up regarding the former Wall Street firm’s MBS valuations. And, of course, we had some fun covering the defection of former mortgage trading co-head Josh Weintraub — he of the wicked right hook — over to troubled GMAC mortgage unit Residential Capital LLC. Twenty-one former senior employees from Bear Stearns have departed since March, the news service reported. Disclosure: The author held no positions in publicly-traded firms mentioned herein when this story was originally published. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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