MUFG trims U.S. sell-side team to expand capital markets business

MUFG trims U.S. sell-side team to expand capital markets business

Japanese mega-bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has cut six members of its U.S. team, four in sell-side markets research, sales and trading, and two investment-banking advisors, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The job reductions were made in the last week, the source said, as the bank expands its fixed-income trading and debt capital markets businesses, for which has been hiring since mid-2020.

With assets worth roughly $3.1 trillion, MUFG is hoping to use its sizeable balance sheet to venture further into primary and secondary fixed-income markets, the source said. Low borrowing costs globally and a stock market rally have produced a boom in capital markets activity this year. read more

The reshuffle at MUFG also reflects a long-running decline in sell-side analysis. Buy-side advisory firm Substantive Research in November published results of a survey showing that asset managers have nearly halved the prices they’re willing to pay for sell-side research since January 2020, as meetings with analysts, which are typically in person, have become virtual.

Among those laid off was John Herrmann, who had previously been the director of interest rate strategy in MUFG’s New York office, the source said.

In response to a request for comment, Herrmann said “I had a very good run for 8-1/2 years at MUFG. I was hoping to serve our clients for several more years, but a new horizon awaits. I hope to be back soon doing what I do best: forecasting the economy, the FOMC and the yield curve.”

Among the additions, the bank announced in October it had hired Tom Joyce from Deutsche Bank to head up a new capital markets strategy group. Constrained resources at the bank meant that hiring Joyce, along with two capital markets strategists also from Deutsche Bank – Hailey Orr and Stephanie Kendal – came at the expense of existing MUFG employees, according to the source.

On April 21, MUFG also announced that it had hired George Goncalves from rival Nomura Holdings (8604.T) as head of U.S. macro strategy, to bolster its fixed income trading platform.

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