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Barclays Said to Eliminate 30% of U.S. Hedge-Fund Service Jobs

Date: Monday, November 24, 2008
Author: Serena Saitto, Bloomberg.com

Barclays Plc eliminated about 100 positions in its capital markets prime services unit in New York, or 30 percent of the staff, as the hedge-fund industry contracts, a person familiar with the matter said today.

The job cuts last week were aimed at adjusting for industry changes rather than eliminating duplication between Barclays’ prime services and the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. unit acquired in September, the person said, declining to be identified because the news isn’t public. Barclays’ spokesman Mark Lane declined to comment.

Barclays is restructuring after the acquisition of Lehman’s investment banking and capital markets operations in North America. Lehman on Sept. 15 filed the largest U.S. bankruptcy and began selling units.

The capital market prime services unit is led by Ivan Ritossa, who also leads Barclays’ foreign exchange desk. The unit executes and finances hedge funds’ trading.

Barclays’ President Robert Diamond said in an Oct. 10 Fortune magazine story that the U.K.’s third-largest bank will cut about 3,000 U.S. jobs, or about 20 percent of its staff in the country.

So far this year, financial firms have eliminated more than 170,000 jobs worldwide and taken $966 million in writedowns, losses and credit provisions, according to Bloomberg data.

JP Morgan Chase & Co. plans to fire about 10 percent of its investment banking staff, or about 3,000 people, a person familiar with the bank said yesterday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also plans to eliminate 10 percent of its staff.

To contact the reporter on this story: Serena Saitto in New York at ssaitto@bloomberg.net.