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Berenberg Latest Bank To Slash U.S. Headcount Despite Previous Plans For Expansion This Year


Berenberg Latest Bank To Slash U.S. Headcount Despite Previous Plans For Expansion This Year

The hits just keep on coming for investment banks…and today you can add Berenberg to the list of names like Jefferies and Morgan Stanley who have been consdiering bonus cuts to deal with 2022’s slowdown in dealmaking.

Berenberg has laid off about 10 employees in New York, according to a Bloomberg wrap up published Monday morning. The layoffs top off a 50% cut in the company’s U.S. footprint. 

It’s being called a “dramatic reversal” of the growth plans that the firm previously had. A spokesperson for the bank said that most of the layoffs were from people who “worked in support functions” at the company.

The firm had 156 employees in the U.S. at the beginning of last year and now has just 75 – and it had posted its “best-ever profit” in 2021. It had just “doubled its US office space”, the report notes.

How quickly things change…the conservative tone towards end-of-year paydays for bankers this year stands at stark odds with the record bonus paydays banks were distributing at end of year 2021.

The bank isn’t alone in making cuts. It was also reported this week that Morgan Stanley’s Asia banker bonuses could be cut by as much as 50%.

As rates have risen, deal-making has slowed significantly, however. According to Reuters, discussions about bonuses are currently “underway” at the company globally. This means that U.S. and European arms of the bank could follow Asia’s lead in cutting bonuses. 

The slashing of bonuses means that overall compensation for bankers in Asia could drop by a stunning average of 30% – not the static job security anyone is looking for in an environment where CPI is at 8%. 

Recall, just days ago we also noted that Jefferies was also considering slashing bonuses. 

Jefferies chief executive Rich Handler and president Brian Friedman penned a memo that went out to employees last week, claiming that due to the bank’s aggressive hiring over the last 3 years, in combination with slumping deals, that bonuses would come in lighter than normal.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 12/13/2022 – 13:35

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