Market maker Winterflood cuts twenty positions in London including six traders

The job cuts follow a 75% collapse in annual profits at the securities firm as investors shunned trading riskier stocks.

Winterflood Securities has cut twenty people from its market making business in London, including six traders, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Winterflood declined to comment.

The job cuts are a reflection of a wider malaise in UK equity markets. In September, Winterflood, a division of Close Brothers, said annual profits had collapsed by 75% to £3.5 million, as investors shunned mid and small-cap stocks. The market maker, which specialises in covering smaller companies, said trading activity had been subdued. The FTSE AIM All-Share index has fallen 17% year-to-date.

Parent company Close Brothers reported a 52% drop in operating profit for the year to £112 million. It said that performance had been good in the second half following a massive write-down in the first-half at its litigation funding business Novitas.

Two other traders, Ben Ralph-Davies and Joel Russell also recently left Winterflood’s London business to join rival market maker Shore Capital, according to the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the matter is private.

Ralph-Davies, Russell, and Shore Capital all didn’t respond to requests for comment by publication time.

Winterflood isn’t the only financial services firm cutting headcount in equities in London. Wall Street giant Citi and Switzerland’s largest bank UBS, both made cuts in September, as reported by The TRADE.

Winterflood was formed in 1988 and was acquired by Close Brothers in 1993.