Barclays Fortifying European Equities Unit Despite Industry Headwinds

Who says times are tough for the European equities industry?

Barclays may finally be garnering some news on a positive front, with the group revealing it will strengthen its European equities trading unit in 2017. The move is curious given the segment is one of the hardest hit amongst European lenders, which along with fixed income and foreign exchange trading decks has seen large numbers of layoffs over the past two years.

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However, Barclays’ recently beleaguered CEO sees hope where others portend headwinds, and is reportedly planning on bringing in over twenty personnel this year alone, according to a Bloomberg report. The move comes at an interesting juncture given an influx of industry talent presently available on the continent.

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Barclays CEO, Jes Staley

Mr. Staley has been trying to help steer the bank through a particular trying set of times recently, given a litany of industry headwinds and questions surrounding profitability. Since late last year, the group has been slashing its office space in London ahead of a formal Brexit, while also offloading components of its wealth and investment management business in Asia.

Regardless, Barclays has put out a call for experienced traders and salespeople, in addition to quantitative and product management specialists. Presently, Barclays employs about 450 people in equities roles across the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

It will be interesting to see if other lenders follow suit or this is simply Barclays swimming against the proverbial current. With European lenders poised to report Q1 earnings in the next few weeks, the industry may receive a welcome boost of optimism heading into H2 2017.

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