Suddenly, equities is not the place to be after all. With equities sales and trading revenues expected to fall this year, equities professionals are facing a shakeout - especially at the senior end.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said yesterday that it's cut 15-20% of its equities sales staff. In London, we understand that the cuts encompassed some of the bank's most senior and longest-surviving equities people.
Recent exits are said to include: Hugo Hamilton Shaw, an MD in pan-European equity sales; Peter Shutt, a vice president in global equities sales, and Alan Davies, global head of financial specialist sales, who relocated from the U.S. to help build the business in London last year. Traders Jorge Soltero and Ali Gunn are also said to have left, along with junior structurer Daniel Lin. Some of the exits may simply involve people moving to other roles.
Bank of America declined to comment. Colleagues confirmed that Hamilton Shaw, Shutt, Davies and Soltero have left the bank.
With Nomura's equities staff already flooding the market, now is not the best time to lose a job in equities sales and trading. Worse may be to come. Headhunters say Citi has already let go of several people from its prime brokerage business and is preparing a round of equities cuts. UBS is also said to be preparing to cut some of its cash equities team.
Citi declined to comment and UBS didn't immediately respond to a request for information.
"The senior people are going to struggle to find new jobs," said one equities headhunter, speaking on condition of anonymity, "But for juniors, there might be jobs in an asset raising capacity on the buy-side."