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Morgan Stanley's cuts hitting everyone: "It's all teams"

Yesterday was the trickle. Today is the flow. Sources inside Morgan Stanley say the bank's job cuts are hitting people at all levels across the institutional securities unit (the investment bank), with everyone from analysts to managing directors impacted. 

Morgan Stanley is cutting 3,000 people from its global headcount of 82,266 people at the end of the first quarter. That's only 4% of the total, but most of the cuts are expected to fall in the institutional securities unit. Morgan Stanley doesn't release headcount figures for institutional securities, but banking intelligence firm Tricumen puts front office headcount in the institutional securities unit at only 5,500 people, suggesting that if even a small proportion of the 3,000 cuts fall there, it will be painful.

Insiders say the cuts have come as a shock to some managing directors, with rumors swirling that up to 125 MDs are out globally. This is unconfirmed by the bank, however, and is thought to be excessive, with some suggesting that up to 80 may be a more realistic number.

As Morgan Stanley seeks to clear the way for its incoming analysts, the cuts are impacting even recently hired junior bankers.  In India, there are unconfirmed reports that employees in the Bengaluru institutional securities team had their ID cards removed and were not permitted to enter the office. 

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Some people have been handed bigger jobs amidst the upheaval: Tiago Pessoa, who's currently a managing director for Morgan Stanley in São Paulo Brazil, where he runs equity and fixed income trading for Latin America, is assuming a larger job in New York as head of Americas equity trading in New York. Pessia has been at Morgan Stanley since 2009 and previously spent nearly nine years at JPMorgan. It was announced yesterday that Scott McDavid, Morgan Stanley's previous co-head of equities trading for the Americas, is joining Barclays. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • ph
    24 May 2023

    Are the cuts happening to areas hit by the interest rate increases, or by market changes they didn't handle well? Are they overstaffed in those areas?

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