Firm cutting Mideast staff after setback
Dubai, May 12, 2012
Financial advisory firm NM Rothschild & Sons is cutting its Middle Eastern staff by more than half in a significant change of strategy in the face of dwindling deal volumes, four sources said.
The cutbacks signal the extent to which some global banks are struggling to win business in the region, after launching ambitious plans during the boom years, said a report in our sister publication the Gulf Daily News.
'For a pure play financial advisory like Rothschild, double-digit staffing in the region is clearly not making sense given activity has slowed so much,' one of the sources said.
Rothschild's staffing in the region has come down to eight, from 17 bankers in the past 12 months, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The firm will move its Mideast investment banking head Herve Sawko to Paris, replacing him with Chris Hawley, who is head of mergers and acquisitions at the bank, as part of the move, two banking sources said.
One of the best-known names in banking, whose roots date back to the 18th century, Rothschild set up its first Middle Eastern office in Dubai International Financial Centre in 2006.
In March, Rothschild regional energy banker Khodor Mattar resigned to join Singapore wealth fund Temasek. A spokesman for Rothschild Middle East said the firm is 'fully committed' to developing its business in the region.
Middle East investment banking fees were $90.9 million in the first quarter, down 8pc from a year-ago and at their lowest level since the second quarter of 2005, according to Thomson Reuters data. – TradeArabia News Service