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Macquarie Is Said to Close Part of Equity Derivatives Unit

Macquarie Said to Shut Part of Hong Kong Derivatives Unit
Macquarie, based in Sydney, on Oct. 28 announced profit that missed analysts’ estimates and reduced full-year forecasts. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

Macquarie Group Ltd. closed part of its equity derivatives operations globally, cutting seven jobs in Hong Kong, two in New York and one in London, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Ted Tsao, global head of equity derivatives sales based in New York, and Olaf Kasten, head of equity derivatives trading for Asia, are among those who left Australia’s biggest investment bank, the people said. Macquarie is moving away from trading equity derivatives for institutional clients, while keeping the business that caters to retail investors, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the information is private.

Banks including Credit Suisse Group AG, Barclays Plc and ING Groep NV have announced plans to cut jobs this week as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis hurts trading and investment banking units. In September, UBS AG analysts Jonathan Mott and Chris Williams said that Macquarie may need to cut 1,000 jobs to offset a decline in trading and corporate advisory income.

Kasten confirmed he has left Macquarie when reached on his mobile phone today, declining to comment further. Todd Steinberg, who was the global head of Derivatives Delta One, left Macquarie about two weeks ago, according to one of the people familiar with the departures. A woman who answered a call to Tsao’s office line said he and Steinberg are no longer with the firm. Macquarie representative Paula Chirhart in New York declined to comment.

Macquarie, based in Sydney, on Oct. 28 announced profit that missed analysts’ estimates and reduced full-year forecasts. Net income for the six months to Sept. 30 slid to A$305 million, the lowest level in more than two years.

Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Moore said on an earnings conference call that day that volume in Macquarie’s Derivatives Delta One unit “is down,” along with other businesses such as equity capital markets. Macquarie’s overall operations are “characterized by these very poor market conditions we are experiencing,” he said.

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