Big redundancies at Berenberg as the bank 'resets' headcount to 2017

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Berenberg redundancies

So much for Berenberg's big equities hiring. The German bank said in February that it planned to add 100 people in the next two years. Instead, it's making some big redundancies.

Insiders suggest Berenberg is making big cuts across its business in London with redundancies across research, sales and trading.  One insider described the departures as, "significant."

A spokesman for Berenberg confirmed the cuts. "After many years of successful growth and a planned Autumn 2018 review of our structure, we are re-setting equities headcount back to the beginning of 2017," he said, adding that this is being done from a "position of strength" after market share gains.

Berenberg hired 70 people in London in 2017 and is thought to have hired at least 30 additional people this year. It is thought to employ around 380 people in the City in total, implying that the cuts amount to over 20% of staff.

The redundancies come amidst fears that Mifid II regulations will lead to widespread redundancies in equity research and equity sales in the City of London. So far, banks have held off making big job cuts, but recruiters have been predicting layoffs before 2018 bonuses are paid.

Berenberg's redundancies are understood to have affected members of its healthcare and insurance teams among others.

In January, David Mortlock, global head of investment banking and head of the UK London office at Berenberg, told Financial News the bank's expansion was justiifed: "We’re not delusional, we understand that the research pot is coming down, by 20-30%, but there’s not a single big client whose research list we’re not on."

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