Morgan Stanley (MS) announced in mid-March that it would lay off 200 to 300 employees in its retail brokerage firm, Smith Barney.
The layoffs are supposed to hit the firms lowest producing financial advisors and trainees. On Wall Street reported that advisors who have been at the firm for over a year but generate less than $75,000 in annually may be let go. Trainees who have been at the firm for six to 36 months with $25,000 or less in annual production could see the chopping block also.
Smith Barney employed 17,800 financial advisors as of the end of 2010, according to Forbes.
Robert W. Baird & Co. is poaching employees from Smith Barney and has said they will be continue to hiring brokerage managers, according to Reuters.The cuts were announced before Morgan Stanley received approval by the Federal Reserve to purchase the portion of the Smith Barney brokerage business it doesn't already own. Morgan Stanley said that there are no other announced layoffs. Morgan Stanley confirmed that they are laying off 200 employees and said there were no more layoffs planned. Goldman Sachs (GS)is said to have laid off five percent of its trading desk staff, according to Reuters. The layoffs in the trading division are the start of an effort to trim the worst-performing five percent of Goldman's staff. Many of these employees, "called z-list employees," received a disappointing bonus in January and were given notice that they may be let go. Further layoffs are expected in the next few weeks.
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