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Investment Banking Staffing Shrinks 5.6% in Year

The number of investment banking jobs at the world's largest banks has fallen by around 5.6% over the past 12 months, according to Financial News analysis, as financial institutions look to stave off the impact of increased costs and declining fee revenues. According to FN analysis of eight investment banks to have published staff numbers in their second quarter results, global investment banking headcount fell from 176,495 at the end of June 2011 to 166,606 at the end of June 2012, a decline of 5.6%. The reduction has been at a fairly steady pace -- with 2.7% coming between the end of June 2011 to the end of 2011, when 171,724 investment banking staff were employed. The percentage fall since the end of 2011 and the halfway-point of 2012 was slightly steeper at 3%. The figures were calculated by looking at second quarter results filings and divisional headcount numbers for banks that break out staff numbers for their "investment banks" or "corporate and investment banks". They were UBS AG (UBS), Credit Suisse Group AG (CS), JP Morgan and Unicredit SpA (UCG.MI). Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) only disclose group-level figures, so we came up with our investment banking staff estimates using a formula devised by JP Morgan analyst Kian Abouhossein. He estimates that about one-third of Morgan Stanley's group headcount are employed in investment banking, and around 65% within Goldman Sachs' group headcount. We also used Abouhossein's methodology for the approximate number of staff employed in Deutsche Bank AG's (DB) corporate banking and securities business. The German bank does not disclose the number of back office employees in quarterly results. Abouhossein estimated in a July research note that total corporate banking and securities staff can be approximately calculated by trebling the number of front office staff it does report. Of the eight banks we analyzed, Goldman Sachs reported the steepest drop with a fall of 9% in the number of jobs it recorded between the end of June 2011 and the same point this year. The bank recorded a group-wide cut from 35,500 to 32,300 in the period. Using JP Morgan's Abouhossein formula, investment banking headcount declined from 23,075 at the end of June 2011 to 20,995 at the end of June 2012. Barclays PLC (BCS) was the least affected bank in terms of headcount. It maintained relatively steady levels, recording 23,600 staff at its investment bank at the end of June 2011, dropping to 23,300 at the end of June this year; a 1.3% fall. Deutsche Bank reported front office headcount in CB&S of 10,079 at the end of June this year, down from 10,846 a year earlier. Using Abouhossein's formula, we have calculated that the German bank cut the number of staff it employs in its corporate banking and securities business from an estimated 32,538 at the end of June 2011 to 30,237 at the end of June this year, a fall of 7.1%. Morgan Stanley cut the number of staff in its investment bank from approximately 20,859 at the end of June 2011 to 19,542 at the end of June this year, a fall of 6.3%. It reported group headcount of 62,577 at the end of June 2011 and 58,627 at the end of June this year. Credit Suisse cut the number of employees in its investment bank from 21,300 to 20,600; while UBS cut from 17,776 to 16,432. JP Morgan cut from 27,716 at the end of June last year to 26,553 at the same point this year. Unicredit cut the number of employees in its corporate and investment bank from 9,631 to 8,947. FN did not include investment banking numbers at Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS), which restructured its global banking & markets business in January as part of its retrenchment. It formed two units called "markets" and "international banking", wrapping in the international arm of its global transaction services division. It reported a total of 19,000 staff in GB&M at the end of June last year and 2,700 in GTS. It reported a total of 17,300 employees in its markets and international banking division at the end of June this year. RBS also sold its Hoare Govett corporate brokerage business to US investment bank Jefferies during that period, and had also undertaken significant restructuring of its business. HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) and Citigroup Inc. (C) do not disclose divisional headcount in quarterly results. Our figures come as Coalition, a research provider, said the total number of bankers in fixed income, equities, and origination and advisory at 10 global investment banks had fallen to the lowest number in five years. It said that 58,600 had been employed in such roles at the end of June 2012, compared to 59,100 at the end of 2008. Jonathan Nicholson, managing director at search firm Astbury Marsden, said: "It doesn't surprise me that it's as stark as it is. While IB is under the kind of pressure that's well documented, it's also likely to continue for a few quarters. He added: "But there will come a point where you cut into the muscle of a business and it becomes impossible to provide the services that clients and customers expect." All of the banks declined to comment. Web site: http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2012-08-23/headcount-decline-q2-2012?ref=emai _39339 Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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