Van der Moolen cuts 30% of US jobs as Nyse moves to hybrid model

Van der Moolen cuts 30% of US jobs as Nyse moves to hybrid model

Nyse specialist Van der Moolen says it is cutting 30% of its US workforce as the Big Board completes the move of all listed securities to a new hybrid trading system.

The Dutch company is the latest in a number of Wall Street firms to cut floor staff in response to increasing use of program trading and Nyse's move to a combined floor-based and electronic market.

According to press reports Bank of America, Lehamn Brothers, Goldman Sachs and LaBranche & Co are all planning to scale back their direct access floor broker businesses and lay off traders at the Nyse.

Last week Bank of America's specialist business laid off 40 Nyse employees and said 20 to 40 more jobs may be cut. Meanwhile Lehman Brothers spokeswoman Kerrie Cohen told Reuters reporters that the bank had decided to exit the floor-based direct access business. Lehman is thought to have cut six traders as part of the move.

Goldman Sachs is reported to have cut nine trading floor jobs, while specialist firm LaBranche & Co - which has cut 165 trading jobs in the past five years - is expected to axe a further 80 roles in the coming months.

Commenting on the latest job cuts, Richard den Drijver, CEO of Van der Moolen Holding, says: "This is a difficult decision, but one which is necessary for VDMS (Van der Moolen Specialists) due to implementation of the Nyse hybrid market and more automation at the point of sale."

Van der Moolen says it is implementing "an immediate reduction in work force of approximately 30%".

The staff cuts will create annual savings of around $4.5 million and will result in a one-time charge of around $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2007, says Van der Moolen.

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