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Three senior equity researchers left Citi as MiFID II takes effect

As banks take stock of changing demand for equity research products under MiFID II, three senior equity researchers have left Citigroup in London.

Simon Weeden, Andrew Benson and Mike Tyndall are all understood to have left Citi's London office in recent weeks. All three were senior equity researchers with decades of experience in the industry.

Weeden, who was Citi's head of European telecoms research joined Citi from BAML in 2009 after starting out as a telecoms researcher at Goldman ten years previously. Tyndall, who was a senior auto researcher, joined from Barclays in 2015.  Benson, who was an MD in chemicals research, had been at Citi for nearly 20 years after joining as an analyst in 1997.

Citi declined to comment on the exits. It's not clear whether the three left as a result of cost-cutting or retirement or both. Benson now describes himself as a "gentleman of leisure" on his LinkedIn profile.

The exits come as banks weigh up the effects of the MiFID II legislation introduced in January, which requires them to charge separately for research. Although the regulations were introduced at the start of the year, they're only really expected to take effect in the second half as the initial "grace period" when some clients signed up to three month free research deals, comes to an end.

Benson, Tyndall and Weedon aren't the only senior bank researchers calling it a day. Mark Lewis, the former head of utilities research at Barclays recently proclaimed that MifID II had, "taken the enjoyment" out of sell-side research and left to join a climate change think tank. Research headhunters say there have been several moves into investor relations and the buy-side instead.

Not all banks are cutting in research though. Banks like UBS continue to avow their commitment to "content" as a means of winning and retaining share in the equities business, and Barclays said last week that it's hired five senior equity researchers in the UK and the US since the start of 2018. This follows the addition of Rupert Jones from Morgan Stanley as the head of European equity research at Barclays in July last year, and Amit Goel and Chris Manners as co-head of European banks research in October.

Barclays didn't respond to a request to divulge the identify of its latest five hires. Insiders said it's also recruited Julia Thannheiser, a specialist saleswoman from Berenberg.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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