The year has turned sour for equities professionals in investment banks. BAML, Citi and Nomura have already laid into their equities businesses. Now we understand that Credit Suisse is doing the same.
Sources say Credit Suisse let go of up to 50 people in its London-based global equities business yesterday. 10 of the layoffs are said to have been in the prime services business, which Credit Suisse is moving to Dublin. The exits are said to have included Christopher Denruyter, an MD on the fund derivatives trading desk who'd worked for Credit Suisse since 2004. Colleagues said he's still employed by the bank but is no longer on the desk.
Headhunters say people working on Credit Suisse's electronic equities business, which was separated out earlier this year, were spared the axe.
Credit Suisse has yet to report its results for the first quarter of 2016. However, equities businesses had a miserable start to the year at UBS, BNP Paribas and HSBC. SocGen's equities business also started weakly, with a 37% year-on-year decline in revenues, compared to an impressive 17% increase in FICC. The French bank's layoff are also said to be focused on its equities division as a result.
Credit Suisse didn't immediately comment on the allegations.
The Swiss bank is in the process of cutting an additional CHF800m from costs as part of an "accelerated restructuring" programme after a large trading loss in the first quarter. Fixed income traders at Credit Suisse are also being hit with the new cuts: while 50 global equities people are going, sources say as many as 80 people are going in fixed income in London, with up to 50 going in IBCM (the CS equivalent of IBD) and other corporate functions. IBD redundancies are understood to be negligible.
Last year, Credit Suisse increased headcount in its global markets division by 1,100 people. This year, it's trimming it back.
"It's like the Hunger Games here," said one mid-ranking trader. "You come in and see who's gone. No one talks about it."