WEALTH MANAGEMENT | Cesar Tordesillas, Australia

Macquarie cuts 10% of Asian investment banking jobs

Macquarie Group cut about 10 percent of its investment banking workforce in Asia last week.

Koichiro Yano, a financial institutions group banker in Tokyo, is among about 20 employees in Asia outside of Australia leaving Macquarie, the people said, asking not to be
identified because the departures aren’t public.

Macquarie, Australia’s biggest investment bank, which is mainly cutting vice presidents and some junior positions, will maintain an investment banking presence in 14 countries in Asia, one of the people said.

Macquarie said on Feb. 7 that slumping advisory fees will contribute to a 25 percent drop in profit for in the year ending March 31. Bank of America Corp. and Nomura Holdings Inc. have also fired investment bankers in Asia as Europe’s lingering credit crisis made companies reluctant to spend on acquisitions and unable to sell shares on stock markets.

“Macquarie have flagged they’re looking to rationalize costs and capital across the group,” said Brian Johnson, an analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in Sydney with a “buy” rating on the stock. “We’re seeing Macquarie taking out a lot of businesses they didn’t feel contributed to profit and they’re rationalizing them away.”

Brook Vinicchayakul, who helped run the Sydney-based bank’s investment banking business in Thailand, left after the company formed an alliance with Kasikornbank Pcl, the people said. Macquarie is seeking to tap Kasikornbank’s local team of 30 bankers to win more equity capital markets business and mergers and acquisitions deals, one of the people said.

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