M&A is activity down 40% year-on-year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic according to Daniel Pinto at JPMorgan, and if you're a business that relies upon M&A revenues it's therefore becoming necessary to take action. Perella Weinberg Partners did that yesterday, with a decision to trim 7% of its workforce.
This means 40 out of around 620 employees. None of the departures are definitive yet: they're just 'at risk' at this stage while alternative roles are theoretically explored within the organization. But in the circumstances alternatives are unlikely to be forthcoming.
Perella isn't commenting on the names of those leaving, but insiders say some of the exits include partners and heads of divisions.
The London exits are understood to include: Christopher Williams, a partner advising financial services clients; Nick Johnston, a partner focusing on the healthcare sector; Mathieu Laurens, an executive director working with telecoms media and satellite clients; Daniel Syndikus, an executive director advising industrials clients; and JP McGrath, a senior advisor who advised clients in the financial institutions sector.
Insiders suggest the exits have all but hobbled the financial institutions group and healthcare teams. The Middle East team is also understood to be leaving.
The alleged exits suggest that being reassigned regionally is no guarantee of job security: Perella's Middle East team are understood to have recently arrived in London, while Syndikus is understood to have been recently transferred to Munich.
Perella isn't the only boutique firm making cuts. Arma Partners cut junior headcount in March and Lincoln International has been cutting salaries and withholding bonuses in Germany. Other small boutiques are understood to have been using the UK government's furlough programme.
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