BNP Paribas names Jon Bass to run U.S. bond sales

NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas , makinggood on its chief executive's promise to expand outside of itstroubled European base, has filled a long-vacant senior salesposition in its fixed-income business in the United States.

Jonathan Bass, who since April had been head of high-yieldsales at Mizuho Financial Group's U.S. broker-dealer,joined BNP this week to run U.S. fixed-income distribution andorigination in New York, a bank spokeswoman confirmed.

The position had been open since June 2011, when KipTestwuide was elevated to co-head of fixed-income Americas atthe French bank. Bass, who has worked in securities sales formore than 20 years, reports to Testwuide.

Previously, Bass had run global sales at now-bankruptfutures broker MF Global Holdings , was global head offixed income at BTIG Institutional Services, and was in chargeof U.S. fixed-income sales at UBS AG for nine years.

A spokesman at Mizuho Financial Group's U.S.broker-dealer said Bass left the Japanese bank last month for amore senior position at another bank. Mizuho continues to hirefixed-income salespeople and traders at Mizuho Securities USA,and would have liked Bass to stay, said a source at thesecurities firm.

BNP Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe told the FinancialTimes last month that he planned to expand fixed-income andother "key businesses" in Asia and other regions outside ofEurope. The United States "is part of that game," he said.

BNP, which has more than half its loan exposure in the eurozone, has joined rivals like Societe Generale andCredit Agricole in worldwide cutbacks to cope with theloss of cheap funding, dormant credit demand and the need tobuild capital as a result of the euro zone crisis. It toldanalysts last summer that it was six months ahead of schedule inreaching its capital goals, leading some to forecast that itwould selectively expand.

BNP's U.S. growth plans will center in large part on thewealth management businesses run by its California-based BankWest unit, Bonnafe said in the interview with the FinancialTimes last month . Bonnafe took BNP's top post inDecember.

(Reporting by Jed Horowitz in New York and Lionel Laurent andMathias Blamont in Paris; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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