It seems hard to believe that equity research was an area of considerable hiring activity earlier in the year. Ten months on, researchers are being brutally cut along with other cash equities staff.
Recruiters claim very big cuts are coming this week at the combined Investec/Evolution business, with around half the 60 person equity research team likely to lose their jobs.
With many Evolution researchers having left already, Investec researchers are expected to bear the brunt of the pain. We’ve been unable to confirm this: there was no answer from Investec’s press office when we called to request a comment.
If true, the researchers from Investec/Evolution will join a long line of cash equities staff let go elsewhere. Jefferies, which was building its equities business earlier this year is said to be trimming it now. Helvea has moved its European equity research team to Switzerland, making redundancies in the process. Altium’s closed in Europe, as has Religare. Cannacord is said to have cut its large cap team. Unicredit is pulling out of Western European equity sales and trading, with the loss of 150 jobs. Around 60-70 cash equities people are thought to have lost their jobs at MF Global. And then Bank of America Merrill Lynch is said to have cut 20% of its cash equities staff, while Nomura’s allegedly cut 10%.
So what do you do if you lose your job in equities this week?
Wait. And hope.
“There will be some positions in the New Year, but there will also be further redundancies,” says one equities headhunter. “You’ve got to hope there will be some hiring in 2012, but I can’t see this happening until Europesorts itself out,” he adds.