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23 December 2019

Morgan Stanley cuts a dozen Asia equities jobs

The use of algorithms in electronic markets has automated the jobs of tens of thousands of execution traders worldwide and displaced others who model prices and risk or build investment portfolios.

Morgan Stanley/Bloomberg

Morgan Stanley has cut about a dozen jobs in its equities division in Asia as part of a global year-end efficiency push amid continued margin pressure across the industry, reported Bloomberg.

Among those laid off include Asia Head of Cash Facilitation Nick Wallum and a few directors. Wallum, a Managing Director, had been with the firm for 10 years.

The New York-based bank is cutting about 1,500 jobs globally. Most of the reductions are in the technology and operations divisions, but sales, trading and research are also being pared. Investment banks around the world have been trimming staff amid a multiyear slump in trading revenue and as more of their business moves to electronic platforms that require fewer humans.

Separately, Zach Tuckwell, 54, most recently co-head of electronic trading for the region, is retiring and his departure has nothing to do with the cuts. Tuckwell is also a 10-year veteran at the firm.

UBS Group has also trimmed about 40 jobs in the Asia-Pacific region to lower costs and combine its trading units.

Global equities revenue fell 17 per cent in the first half this year, partly dragged by lower client demand in prime services and cash equities and a drop off in the derivatives businesses after a strong 2018.

Operating margin for equities business narrowed to 20 per cent from 28 per cent same period last year, due to higher technology expenses and revenue normalisation, though lower compensation cost and job cuts have offset some of the decline.


RELATED STORIES: Morgan Stanley job cuts Asia-Pacific region





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