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Boutique M&A firm cuts staff following virus

While large investment banks are busy guaranteeing staff their jobs are safe despite the coronavirus pandemic, the same cannot necessarily be said for smaller boutiques. Boutique M&A firm Arma Partners is understood to have put around 10 of its analysts and associates in London at risk of termination today.

Arma Partners didn't respond to a request to comment on the cuts, which follow claims earlier in the week that around three senior staff had been shifted to consultancy contracts starting next month. At that time, it was understood that Arma had simply let go of one junior paralegal. Today's cuts are thought to include several recent joiners. Two of the senior staff are undrestood to be on the technology team, with one located in New York.

One Arma employee, speaking off the record, said the firm had indicated it was moving into cost containment mode as the virus impacted business. Juniors said their access to the company Slack account has already been terminated.

Arma's move comes as M&A deals take a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic with up to 90% of deals said to be put on hold as the virus causes chaos around the globe. Unlike full service banks which can offset declining investment banking revenues with increased revenues from market making, boutiques are unable to offset the hit. One headhunter said other boutiques are likely to follow Arma in cutting staff. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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