Layoffs Watch '12: Investment Bankers, Everywhere

Gird your loins. Having already slashed bonuses, banks including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, are preparing to cut dozens of jobs, including some held by senior bankers, according to people familiar with the matter. As they pursue this targeted round of trims as soon as next month, they and rivals are also revisiting profit expectations for their advisory businesses, people familiar with the matter said. Until recently, Wall Street's ax had largely fallen on trading desks, which shed thousands of jobs as business dried up due to regulations and lackluster markets. But the cost-cutting focus is now expanding to deal makers and corporate advisers that have remained among Wall Street's most high-profile professionals even as their contributions to banks' bottom line has been dwarfed by traders. In addition to mergers-and-acquisitions advisory, investment banking includes raising capital through stock and debt. Wall Street Gets Lean [WSJ]
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Gird your loins, which have apparently gotten a free pass for too long.

Having already slashed bonuses, banks including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, are preparing to cut dozens of jobs, including some held by senior bankers, according to people familiar with the matter. As they pursue this targeted round of trims as soon as next month, they and rivals are also revisiting profit expectations for their advisory businesses, people familiar with the matter said. Until recently, Wall Street's ax had largely fallen on trading desks, which shed thousands of jobs as business dried up due to regulations and lackluster markets. But the cost-cutting focus is now expanding to deal makers and corporate advisers that have remained among Wall Street's most high-profile professionals even as their contributions to banks' bottom line has been dwarfed by traders. In addition to mergers-and-acquisitions advisory, investment banking includes raising capital through stock and debt.

Wall Street Gets Lean [WSJ]

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Layoffs Watch '12: UBS

UBS is said to be embarking on a "fresh round of cuts" in the investment bank, starting with the team in Europe. UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, plans to cut about 80 to 90 jobs in its European investment- banking division as part of a global revamp, according to two people familiar with the matter. The cutbacks, which are likely to take place before year- end, would amount to about 17 percent of staff within the region’s investment-banking division and include junior and senior bankers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The division includes merger advisory and equity and debt capital markets. The reductions probably will kick off a fresh round of job cuts within the broader investment bank, which includes UBS’s fixed-income and equities units, said the people. [Bloomberg]

Layoffs Watch '12: RBS

Like Bank of America, RBS has some big goals for the coming year, chief among them being the firing of several thousand investment bankers. (For those skeptical they can do it, according to a PowerPoint presentation presented yesterday, re: the "exits," quite a bit of progress has already been made.) Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain’s biggest government-owned lender, said it will cut 300 more jobs at its investment banking unit and is “on track” with its plan to exit businesses. RBS will eliminate 3,800 jobs at the division by the fourth quarter of next year, compared with an earlier target of 3,500, according to slides based on a presentation delivered by John Hourican, chief of markets and international banking, to analysts Monday. About 3,000 of the cuts will have completed this year, RBS said...The bank’s control of costs is “ongoing,” said Chris Kyle, chief financial officer of markets and international banking, at the presentation. “We will almost certainly hit this year’s number” in terms of the guidance, he said. Royal Bank Of Scotland Cuts 300 More Jobs At Investment Bank [Bloomberg] RBS Markets Investor Roundtable [RBS]

Layoffs Watch '12: Morgan Stanley

The House of Gorman is said to be in the process of letting some employees down easy. Morgan Stanley will this week complete a round of job cuts that will ultimately lead to the company shedding 100 sales and trading staff, underscoring what is expected to prove a dismal second quarter for Wall Street banks. The cuts are across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to people familiar with the New York-based bank’s plans. The bank has so far laid off about two-thirds of its original 100-person target, leaving some 33 people to go this week. Morgan Stanle Said To Shed Staff As Deals Fall [FT]

Layoffs Watch '12: Barclays

Cuts are said to have gone down with more a-comin'. Barclays PLC is cutting about 50 employees from its equities business, the latest effort by the British bank to reduce costs at its investment-banking arm. A week ago, the U.K. lender announced internally that about 10% of the jobs at its equities business across Europe, Africa and the Middle East would be lost, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. During the first half of the year, Barclays's equities and prime services business, which employs about 500 people, saw revenue fall 12% on the year to £973 million ($1.57 billion). The business has suffered as market volumes have dried up in recent quarters...The work-force reduction could be a taste of things to come for Barclays's investment bank. At the beginning of 2009, former Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond hired more than 400 bankers, mainly in equities and research, as part of a drive to turn the predominately debt-focused bank into a multi-asset powerhouse. Following Mr. Diamond's departure in the wake of a rate-fixing probe, new CEO Antony Jenkins has started a review of the bank's businesses to assess their profitability and whether and how they affect the lender's reputation. This, combined with tougher regulatory requirements, is expected to result in Barclays shrinking its investment bank, analysts say. Barclays To Cut 50 Equities Jobs [WSJ]

Layoffs Watch '12: Goldman Sachs

The cuts aren't said to be too significant but good luck telling that to the people who'll no longer be receiving quality Cohn-crotch time. Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank that generated 58 percent of first-half revenue from sales and trading, eliminated 20 to 30 jobs in that division this week, according to a person briefed on the matter. The cuts affected salespeople and traders in the U.S., with most taking place in New York, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the reductions aren’t being announced publicly. The decision is part of a continuous review of staffing levels amid difficult markets, the person said. Goldman Sachs Said To Cut More Than 20 In Sales, Trading [Bloomberg]

Layoffs Watch '12: Deutsche Bank

The Germans are not yet done firing employees in Asia. Deutsche Bank fired around a third of the staff in its Asia equity derivatives business on Tuesday, as part of a global cost savings plan announced on July 31, according to sources familiar with the matter. Just over 20 people remain in the division, down from a number in the mid 30s, according to one source, as Deutsche Bank and others seek to cut costs in businesses that are failing to generate adequate revenues as the global economy slows. The bank let go five traders, four product structurers and at least one salesperson from the division, the sources said, adding that the numbers were not yet finalised because the discussions were continuing...These cuts follow on the heels of layoffs in June in Deutsche Bank's Asian equities business, which like its counterparts at other firms globally has been struggling this summer due to slack trading volumes and a sharp decline in new share issuance. Deutsche Bank cuts a third of jobs in Asia equity derivs [Reuters]

Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

In April 2010, Bank of America said ENOUGH. Enough with this losing of money business. We want to know what it's like to have a quarter in which we actually make a little-- wouldn't that be something? As this was a very lofty goal for the firm, the higher-ups knew they had to get serious-- really focus and hone in an on plan of action. First, they gave their new (money-making) mission a special codename: Project New BAC. Then, 44 executives "fanned out around the company to ask employees low- and high-level for ideas on how BofA [could]...reduce expenses." As we now know, what they came up with re: the reduction of expenses was that 30,000 people should be fired and over the last year, exactly that has happened. And even though a whole bunch of senior people have quit, which has helped the bottom line a bit, it hasn't been enough for meddlesome investors to put a sock in it re: "reining in expenses" and "profit outlook" in general. So, a couple things are going to happen: 1. A whole bunch of well-paid* bankers are going to be escorted out of the building and 2. In order to pick up the slack left, clusters of junior bankers are going to put in a van which will drop them off in whatever division needs them most at the time. The Charlotte, N.C., company is planning about 2,000 staff cuts in its investment banking, commercial banking and non-U.S. wealth-management units, said people familiar with the situation. Those operations were vastly expanded with Bank of America's 2009 purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. The reductions are significant because of whom they target: the high-earning employees whose efforts helped Merrill Lynch account for the bulk of Bank of America's profit since the financial crisis. The cuts come on top of a plan announced last year that will see Bank of America eliminate 30,000 jobs over three years in its consumer banking divisions...The No. 2 U.S. bank by assets already is facing a wave of high-profile defections in its institutional businesses, such as investment banking, amid Wall Street's annual post-bonus job-hopping season. The upheaval comes as investors are pressuring banks to rein in expenses without giving ground competitively. Despite a 46% rise this year, Bank of America shares have lost a third of their value in the past year, amid questions about the industry's profit outlook. Cutbacks aren't Bank of America's only response to surging costs. The bank is loath to cut too deeply in businesses, such as the fixed-income trading operation, that are showing improvement and highly competitive. One structural shift being planned will pool junior investment-banking employees across different industry sectors so the younger bankers can be routed to whatever area is most in demand at that moment, said people familiar with the situation. Proponents say that move will help younger workers gain more experience, while others say it will detract from the bank's service to clients. BofA To Cut From Elite Ranks [WSJ] *For BofA.

Layoffs Watch '12: Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Nomura, Credit Suisse, UBS

Things could be better in Europe. Big investment banks in Europe, including Nomura, Credit Suisse and UBS, are stepping up plans to cut jobs as they seek to adapt to a drastic slowdown in revenues and tighter regulation. Bank executives, headhunters and analysts say that the cuts are shaping up as the deepest since the start of the financial crisis after a disappointing summer dashed hopes of a business revival. One senior headhunter said many large investment banks will have “at least 20 per cent” fewer staff in capital markets and M&A advisory business in Europe by the end of the year compared with late 2011. “It [the market] has never been as bad as this. Bankers have long lost confidence in their banks but now they are also losing their self-confidence, their mojo,” a senior advisory banker said. Among the banks that will reduce their investment banking workforce is Japan’s Nomura, where London-based bankers say that they expect several hundred jobs to be removed in Europe alone as part of a $1bn cost-cutting effort. Switzerland’s largest bank UBS, which cut staff levels earlier than rivals by announcing 2,000 job cuts in the investment bank after a $2.3bn unauthorised trading loss last year, is preparing for intensified cuts as it is seeking to streamline further the unit, several people familiar with the situation said. At Credit Suisse, insiders estimate that the additional SFr1bn ($1bn) in groupwide cuts that were announced in July will translate into up to 1,000 jobs being lost, most of which would be in the investment bank. Analysts expect also Deutsche Bank and Barclays to reduce their headcount further this year. Deutsche said two months ago it would reduce staff levels by 1,900. Investment Banks Eye Europe Job Cuts [FT]