The axe is making its rounds yet again in Asia. As previously, investment banking – particularly equities – is bearing the brunt of the cuts.
Reuters reported earlier this week that at least 50 bankers were culled over the past three weeks. Redundancies have hit firms like CLSA, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and UBS. Those affected have ranged from high-flying top bankers to junior employees.
Here’s a tally of some of the job losses:
- CLSA slashed sales and research jobs: 25 staff in Hong Kong; 10 in India.
- Deutsche Bank let go of at least three staff in its Hong Kong equities division. Over in India, the firm laid off five junior bankers in equity sales and research.
- Goldman Sachs retrenched six staff in Australia, mostly equity sales people and analysts.
- UBS capital markets head, Guy Wylie resigned. The Swiss bank opted not to replace him.
No end in sight
The nightmare isn’t about to end any time soon either. Even more lay-offs are anticipated over the next few months, say industry sources.
Senior headhunter, Nick Poole, says: “It’s a reflection of market conditions. Perhaps banks were earlier holding on to ascertain if revenues would increase, but fundamentally it has stayed pretty flat, some firms can’t justify the headcount that they’ve got.
“These mid-year cuts are a signal that a number of firms don’t expect great things in the second half.” He expects employment activity to remain downbeat in several areas for the rest of this year.
Recruiters feel the heat
Asia’s downsizing financial sector has had a corresponding impact on financial recruitment firms. Poole knows of several search firms which have let go of people in Singapore and Hong Kong.
“It’s a tough time for headhunters; the reality is that the recruitment market in Asia is seriously overbroked.” Unsurprisingly, firms which focus their efforts on equities, and IBD, have been the hardest hit. “These areas have been the first to take a nose dive; it’s been a real challenge for many.”