FBR Capital Markets Cuts Staff By 10%

By Thomas Heath

FBR Capital Markets, a publicly-traded affiliate of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, Group Inc., the Arlington investment bank, laid off approximately 70 employees - about 10 percent of its workforce - this week as the firm struggles with the current malaise in the financial markets.

FBR Capital Markets employed 700 prior to the layoffs, according to FBR Capital Markets earnings announcement on July 23.

The layoffs were not limited to one division, but instead appeared to have occurred across the board, including members of the research staff that analyze diversified companies and technology firms, according to sources who were not authorized to speak publicly about the layoffs. Other areas affected include sales and investment banking.

Richard J. Hendrix, FBR Capital Market's president and chief operating officer, said in an e-mail today that "in our recent second quarter earnings release we informed investors that we expected the markets to remain difficult and we would be taking additional actions to further reduce our costs. We have begun implementing those initiatives which we expect will result in a reduction of our staffing levels of approximately 10 percent. We believe this reduction in force, which results from our cost-savings initiatives, will ultimately strengthen our position both in the short term and as the markets normalize."

Just last month, FBR Capital Markets laid off its 11-member health-care research staff and decided to discontinue its coverage of the sector. Hendrix said at the time that the firm had been unable to create revenue streams to justify continuing the analyst research in health.

By Dan Beyers  |  August 13, 2008; 2:44 PM ET
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