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Bank cuts the safest jobs in Europe after 90% fall in profits

If there's one bank that's been consistently bullish about recruitment, it's Alantra, the mid-market Spanish investment bank that's been expanding for the past few years. More recently, however, Alantra's expansionary message has become a bit more equivocal. 

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When Alantra released its full year 2023 results in March '24 and revealed a nearly 90% fall in profits, there was talk of a "strategic transformation", a "strengthening of hubs," of "renewed leadership" and "deepened sector expertise." There was talk of "21 senior hires"  But there was also mention of "consolidation" of expertise and of an 8.5% cut in headcount, amounting to more than 50 people. 

Bloomberg reported yesterday that at least 15 of these cuts have occurred in Germany, where Alantra's Frankfurt office appears to have undergone a period of turbulence following the appointment of a new CEO, Jan Casper Hoffman, in April 2023.

Sources at Alantra's German business say Hoffman was unpopular internally because he didn't have a mid-market background. Instead, he spent most of his career at Merrill Lynch, SocGen, and Moelis & Co. Alantra said yesterday that Hoffman will step down from the CEO role, but will continue to work with clients. Michael Maag, Morgan Stanley's former head of investment banking in Switzerland, who joined Alantra last year, is joining the German board instead. 🤔

German banking jobs are usually considered relatively secure compared to jobs in London by virtue of stricter German labour laws. A spokesman for Alantra said the bank has now finished the "first step of Alantra Germany's transformation journey"  and notes that the German office is still investing in healthcare, energy transition, real estate, and industrials talent locally.

Alantra is tweaking is broader model so that it has hubs and sector teams instead of country teams. It says the new hubs include London, Madrid, Paris, New York, Frankfurt and Zurich. However, Alantra currently also has offices in Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Buenos Aires Copenhagen, Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Vienna, and elsewhere. Does this mean M&A jobs at those offices will be disappearing too? It's not clear, but it's understood the offices are not being closed entirely.

Bloomberg reports that various senior Alantra bankers in Frankfurt are considering leaving of their own accords. They include Christoph Handrup, Maximilian Rohardt and Lars Rueckert. Handrup joined in 2014. Rohardt joined in 2015. Rueckert only joined from Stifel in October 2023. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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