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Lehman fixed income professionals left out in the cold

Despite being staffed by some of the best in their business, it seems Lehman’s European fixed income units may be shunned by the bank’s buyers.

At the moment, it looks like Nomura will soon be the new owner of Lehman’s European investment banking and equities units. Failing this, Barclays Capital is also said to be waiting in the wings, with a view to bolting on Lehman’s equities arm.

Lehman employs/employed around 5,000 people in London. According to the Financial Times, a maximum of 2,300 are likely to be included in any sale. Most of those left out come from the bank’s large fixed income business, including credit, rates, FX and prop trading.

“Lehman had some of the best people in the market,” says one former Lehman recruiter. “But this is a funny time – I’ve seen some very good credit people who’ve been out on the street for the last six months, so there’s no certainty they’ll get rehired.”

A fixed income headhunter says Lehman’s best salespeople and traders expect to be cherry picked by Barclays Capital. Shaun Springer, chief exec of search firm Napier Scott, says there’s still demand for fixed income professionals with experience of the Middle East and Russia, but that “unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the European market.”

Lehman’s middle and back office staff are also likely to suffer following any deal.

Mike Hartwell, managing director of search firm Hartwell Buck, says the new owner will only need to add operational staff if its trading volume increases significantly following the purchase, but even this is no guarantee that jobs will be saved: “It’s more about systems scalability than headcount scalability – if you go from settling three million to 10 million trades, you won’t need to increase your headcount proportionately.”

Lehman’s client services and prime brokerage-focused support staff should find themselves rehoused elsewhere, says Hartwell. Securities settlements specialists might be better off migrating to Singapore or Mumbai.

Comments (7)

  1. Don’t waste your tear drop for any banker’s unfortunate situation;
    they have pocketed unimaginable sums over the past 10 years
    Pain is democratic and in the end is proportionally distributed

  2. Look at what happened to the LEH stock price. A lot of these people had bonuses in stock and have been left with next to nothing.

  3. I’m sick of all this bankers deserve it stuff. These are real people with real families who paid real taxes and they have been dealt a heavy blow. They deserve more than ridicule now.

  4. there are some people really resented here… the guys who “pocketed unimaginable sums over the past 10 years” are not working in the back or middle office of any bank. These are the ones with no jobs. Or the cashier at a Lloyds bank or a secretary or a recepcionist. If you have the fantasy that everybody in a bank is rich do please wake up, as it’s not the case. People losing their jobs is always sad, if they have money they will cope better, but the problem is many people don’t have huge amounts of money, or also have kids. Nobody can’t be happy about other people’s misery. That’s IGNORANCE.

  5. Haters go away

  6. Giovanni sounds like someone who probably tried to become a trader etc and didn’t make it. You are just a jealous, spiteful person. Don’t tell me that if someone offered you a role where you could potentially make 6 figures you would have turned it down. Tw*t

  7. I dont why comments become so personal here. Its true, v few plpe wld turn down the chance to make the money some FO staff do. But, at the same time, (non-finance) people lose their jobs everyday, thus it is a little hard to feel too much sympathy for those made redundant now but who made good money in the last 5-10 years. These r competitve, well-educated professionals. all in all, i think they will survive.

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