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Susquehanna Cuts 15% of Employees at Brokerage Unit Amid Slump

Susquehanna International Group LLP eliminated 15 percent of the 200 jobs in its institutional brokerage this week as Wall Street copes with the worst trading environment since the 2008 financial crisis.

Susquehanna Financial Group, the closely held company’s brokerage that specializes in equity options, cut its trading, research and sales staff, according to David Pollard, the Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based firm’s head of strategic planning. Most reductions were at the New York office, he said.

“It’s a difficult environment right now so we wanted to right-size the firm to reflect the economic conditions,” Pollard said in a phone interview yesterday. “We had to let a lot of good people go and we’re disappointed about that.”

Optimism is fading on Wall Street after the industry posted its worst trading and investment-banking period since the financial crisis in the third quarter. The fourth quarter may have been worse and equity trading revenue at U.S. banks will fall 10 percent and investment-bank revenue probably was unchanged, David Trone, an analyst at JMP Securities, projected in a Dec. 16 report.

Susquehanna’s staff is about twice the size it was two years ago, and its analysts cover about 325 companies, triple the level they did then, Pollard said. Susquehanna was founded in 1987, according to the firm’s website.

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