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The Axe Falls at DB Alex. Brown

The Axe Falls at DB Alex. Brown

The bear market is claiming yet more victims: Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown yesterday began laying off employees, including lower-producing brokers, Registered Rep. has learned. The German-owned brokerage firm axed 11 reps from its New York office and about 10 from its Los Angeles unit on Wednesday, according to brokers who work at the firm.

“Yesterday was a crappy day here at this firm,” says one rep in Baltimore who had a colleague axed in the New York office.

The cuts are part of firm-wide initiative to wring $2 billion of expenses from the German bank’s North American brokerage and investment bank. In all, the work force will be cut by around 2,800, including brokers and other personnel. Rohini Pragrasam, an Alex. Brown spokesperson, confirmed the downsizing, but did not have current figures available as to how many brokers were cut or how many would be laid off.

Despite rumors to the contrary, the firm said that there was in fact no hard-and-fast performance threshold on which these jobs cuts were based.

Deutsche Bank bought Bankers Trust (which itself had purchased Alex. Brown a year or so earlier) for about $10 billion in 1999, as part of the German bank’s worldwide expansion.

“There is no specific production number that brokers have to meet in order to keep their jobs,” says a rep. “But it’s safe to say that the brokers [who lost their jobs] were not producing as much as others.”

Managers at all of Alex. Brown’s offices have been told to “evaluate whose performance is good and whose is lagging and make the decision [as to whether the broker should remain],” a rep says.

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