Susquehanna Shuts NYC Office, Lays Off 30

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Susquehanna Financial Group, the investment bank division of Susquehanna International Group, shut down its midtown Manhattan office and fired about 30 people amid the slump in biotech and healthcare stocks, a spokesman said on Friday.

Susquehanna, known as a trader and marketmaker in stocks and options, has about 250 employees at its main New York City office in lower Manhattan. The midtown office was a satellite operation that housed about 30 bankers and research analysts.

The firm, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, has more than 1,500 employees worldwide.

“Earlier this week we changed the focus in our institutional business,” said Eric Noll, SIG’s global head of strategic relationships. “We were trying to provide banking and research to a sector of the market that’s been demolished.”

Susquehanna’s bankers and analysts covered companies in the healthcare and biotech sectors, as well as firms across the Asia Pacific region and PIPEs (private investments in public equity.)

Institutional investors such as mutual and hedge funds have been steering clear of biotech and healthcare companies because the continuing market slump has slashed their market values.

“We don’t feel we were getting good traction with our resources,” Noll said, adding the firm’s analysts and bankers were top notch.

On a smaller scale, Susquehanna’s moves are part of a trend sweeping Wall Street. Investment banks are slashing thousands of jobs in response to shrinking revenue and a breakdown of some once-thriving markets.

Noll said that overall the 21-year-old SIG is not contracting but rather transferring resources among its trading, investments and banking businesses. SIG has offices across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

By Joseph A. Giannone
(Additional reporting by Toni Clarke in Boston; editing by John Wallace)