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Opinion

Morgan Stanley gears up for the new decade with job cuts

The US firm is cutting just under 2% of its workforce, a reflection of what could be coming in 2020.

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As a new decade begins, analysts and strategists at investment banks around the world are making their predictions for 2020 and for the decade ahead. These are sometimes interesting, occasionally amusing – but it is often wiser to pay attention to what these firms are actually doing, rather than what they are saying.

Morgan Stanley is cutting staff.

News broke in December of 1,500 job losses across its businesses, a proportion being in technology and operational support. It doesn’t seem like a big story. It appears that no particular geography or business line has been picked out for retrenchment. It does sound like a lot of people. But then Morgan Stanley has roughly 60,000 employees and it didn’t even bother to make an official comment on reports it might be cutting just under 2% of its workforce.

What strikes Euromoney is that Morgan Stanley is not one of those firms that routinely cuts its bottom percentile performers, unlike certain other investment banks that do so ruthlessly every year, so as to encourage the survivors.

Its performance in 2019 was fairly strong and stable, with $10 billion of revenue each quarter through the first nine months and no outward signs of any horrors lurking.




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