As banks like UBS cut equities staff under the combined pressures of a poor year, increased electronic trading and MiFID II (which is partly to blame for increased electronic trading), an unlikely source of resilience is emerging: equity research. Equity researchers are being spared the axe.

This, at least, appears to have been the case at UBS last week. As we observed at the time, the Swiss bank’s layoffs seemed to target high touch sales traders in London and prime brokerage staff in New York. Sources say the Swiss bank’s equity researchers were unscathed, although UBS didn’t respond to a request to confirm this.

This may not have been entirely coincidental. Zaki Ahmed, a director at Financial Search Limited, which specialises in placing equity researchers in London,

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