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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Morgan Stanley loses two key trading executives

Weakness in trading for bank firms like JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley's highly regarded equity derivatives team is losing two of its key members.

Alvise Munari, global head of the firm's equity derivatives team in London, and Pierre Mendelsohn, head of the Asia equity derivatives group based in Hong Kong, have departed the bank, according to a report in Global Capital.

The timing of the exits is curious in that both left Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2010 within months of each other to join Morgan Stanley. Neither could be reached for comment, and a Morgan Stanley official declined to comment to on the changes. Mendelsohn reported to Munari.

The departures are important for the firm as they represent the exit of two leaders from one of the bank's most highly functioning units. Neither could be reached for comment and their future plans are unclear.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

First-quarter earnings for equity sales and trading reflected $1.7 billion in revenue, a year-over-year increase of $100 million driven largely by growth in client activity and prime brokerage services—gains that come at a time when Wall Street firms are struggling in their trading businesses.

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For its efforts, the Morgan team won the Equity Derivatives House of the Year honor from the trade publication International Financing Review. For 2013, the equities business pulled in revenue of $6.4 billion, an increase of $4.8 billion year over year.

"We've had a phenomenal year in the U.S. across all of the client segments and all products," Munari told IFR. "It's a function of the economic cycle and of us being more advanced in equity. We think we've outperformed in the U.S. and certainly have the largest equity derivatives business there."

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Munari served four years with Morgan Stanley, after working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch's structured product and flow equity derivatives distribution group. He drew attention when leaving BofAML in early 2010 just before bonus season, sparking speculation on Wall Street over just how much Morgan Stanley must have spent to lure him away.

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While at Morgan, he helped to grow its Nikkei business and expand its volatility products. He also had worked previously with Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

Mendelsohn departs the firm also after about four years and also as a former BofAML executive. He started with Morgan's structured product expansion group then left for Hong Kong, where he also led the retail structured products group. Prior to his time at BofAML he worked for Deutsche Bank as a vice president and Oliver Wyman as a management consultant, according to his LinkedIn profile.

—By CNBC's Jeff Cox.