Upset at Barclays as senior electronic staff go in cull

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Barclays electronic layoffs

If you work in electronic equities trading your job should in theory, be safe - or at any rate, safer than if you're an old school voice trader. Tell that, however, to senior members of the electronic trading team at Barclays, who were let go in last week's purge.

Victims of the layoffs, which hit 100 people at director and managing director level, are understood to include Eric Krueger, the former EMEA head of cash execution sales, Mark Montgomery, a director in algorithmic sales, and Jenny Miller, another senior electronic equities saleswoman.

Barclays didn't comment on the exits, but colleagues confirmed that Krueger is no longer with the firm and both Montgomery and Miller were not at their desks.

The electronic layoffs come after Barclays made several senior electronic trading hires last year. Stephen Dainton, a former Credit Suisse trader, joined as global head of equities in September. Graham Wayne, the former head of electronic trading at Knight Capital Group in Europe joined around the same time. Ex-Goldman quant trader Asita Anche joined in June and is setting up a new cross-asset quant trading business. James Sylvester-Evans, a former portfolio trader from Morgan Stanley, joined in June.

Tim Throsby, CEO of Barclays' investment bank has promised to reinvigorate the risk appetite on Barclays' trading floor, to hire in additional talent as necessary and to "restore excellence" in the electronic execution business. Barclays has yet to announce results for full year 2017, but in the first nine months of the year, revenues in its equities sales and trading business fell 8.2%. The bank blamed its on poor performance on over-reliance upon flow equity derivatives trading and promised to invest in its electronic trading business to help remedy it.

By leaving at this time of year, Krueger, Montgomery and Miller will forego their bonuses for 2017. All had been at Barclays for some time: Krueger joined from Merrill in 2009; Montgomery joined from Sanford Bernstein in the same year. Miller is thought to have been at the bank for over a decade. They can console themselves with the thought that Barclays has indicated it will be cutting the bonus pool again this year anyway.

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