Morgan Stanley To Cut Equity Research Staff

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Morgan Stanley will reduce its staff of equity research analysts, according to media reports. But for researchers in the right sectors, recruiters say there are plenty of opportunities elsewhere.

Morgan Stanley said it will cut between 50 and 60 equity research jobs in Europe and the U.S. in order to spend money covering emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The move will affect about 7 percent of the firm's 800 equity analysts.

Many of Morgan Stanley's staff should be able to find jobs elsewhere. James Heath of Greenwich Associates, which places junior equity researchers, says demand for associate level staff remains buoyant.

Researchers covering hot sectors like specialist financials, capital goods, utilities, chemicals and retail will have no problem walking into another job, believes Jonathan Evans, managing director of search firm Sammons Associates. "There are plenty of equity research jobs around at the moment. Banks are hiring across the board," he says.

However, axed researchers who covered sectors such as leisure, building, construction and luxury goods may have a harder time of it. "They could change sector, go into industry or consultancy, jump to the buy side, or open a restaurant," he suggests.

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