Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Big isn’t always better for brokers

October 20, 2008

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Beaten-down brokers are weighing the benefits of staying at Wall Street mammoths Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch in a time when even the big guys aren’t so safe anymore. Turns out, well-established firms are still attractive to many brokers even as some decide to break ties altogether to set up their own shop.

“Merrill advisors are looking at the prospect of working for Ken Lewis and Bank of America and fear they will find themselves in a cost-cutting mentality,” says Howard Diamond, CEO of Diamond Consultants, a New Jersey-based financial services recruiter.

But avoiding a job loss might be harder than simply switching firms. The U.N.’s International Labour Organization said on Monday that an estimated 20 million jobs will disappear by the end of next year as the financial crisis swirls.  Think you’re next? Consult the Wall Street Journal’s handy “Five signs you may be on the layoff list” for more clues.

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