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Upset as Morgan Stanley’s recent redundancies are mostly juniors and EDs

Morgan Stanley redundancies

The bottom rung isn't so safe after all

If you work in banking, the word of the year is “juniorization.” Senior stuff are being dumped and junior staff are being hired. It’s a cost thing: why keep all those 35 year-olds on gigantic salaries when you could replace them with super-keen 20-somethings on (comparative) peanuts.

This certainly seems to be happening at the likes of Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), but it’s not happening everywhere. It’s doesn’t seem to be happening, for example, at Morgan Stanley.

A few months ago, Morgan Stanley began cutting 25% of its fixed income staff. Some of the resulting departures, along with light trimming to other departments and possible voluntary exits of people without replacement jobs (yet) have just shown up on the London Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register. An analysis of the exits reveals that they’re heavily skewed towards the lowest ranks and to executive directors.

As the chart below shows, 50% of the 24 people who de-registered from Morgan Stanley without new jobs to go to in February were either analysts or associates. 32% were executive directors. 14% were vice presidents and just 5% were MDs.

Not so much juniorization going on after all then…

Morgan Stanley didn’t respond to a request to comment on its departures. Of course, the juniors may have left voluntarily and it could be argued that the skew towards them reflects the distribution of headcount in banking, where the bottom of the pyramid is the fattest. Then again, it might be that banks are simply clearing out experienced analysts and associates (most had two to four years’ experience) to make way for newer trainees.

Executive director-level departures match headhunters’ claims that director-level staff are most at risk of being let go: they’re expensive and don’t bring in clients.

The most senior leaver from Morgan Stanley this month was Philippe Henry, head of European financial engineering for equities at the firm. Executive director-level departures included Stephane Berthet, former head of its alternative UCITS platform, Tim Clegg, an executive director in prime capital introductions, and Mark Olson, an executive director on the convertible bond trading desk.

Photo: NLshop/istock

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