Accenture is laying people off as Wall Street braces for big cuts next year

 

Welcome to Wall Street Insider, where we take you behind the scenes of the finance team’s biggest scoops and deep dives from the past week. 

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Accenture is cutting US staff, and top execs just warned of more pain to come as the consulting giant promotes fewer people and looks to control costs, Meghan Morris and Dakin Campbell first reported. Their story got a lot of attention this week, and for good reason. It could be an indicator for how the firm’s own clients are weathering a downturn, and consulting likely won’t be the only industry to feel the crunch.

We also took a look at who’s most at risk once Wall Street kicks off the tidal wave of layoffs many banks had put on pause — and why boutique firms without a strong restructuring practice could be “dead in the water,” as one recruiter put it. 

Dakin along with Casey Sullivan got an inside look at Egon Durban, who became co-CEO of Silver Lake Partners in December. They spoke with more than 40 people who have worked with Durban, or across from him on deals, to understand his rise at the tech-focused private-equity firm he joined as a young banker in 1999.  

Read the full story here: 

Keep reading for a look at why one of the earliest forms of alt-data is breaking down; a rundown of Amazon’s rapid-fire moves to scoop up warehouses; and a deep dive into the culture at BTIG. 

Have a great weekend, 

Meredith 

Inside BTIG

btig wall street sexual discrimination eeoc investigation 2x1
btig wall street sexual discrimination eeoc investigation 2×1

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

The financial-services industry has tried to clean up its image in recent years, but shades of an earlier era on Wall Street have lingered at the firm BTIG, a Business Insider investigation by Nicole Einbinder and Rebecca Ungarino has found. 

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Why alt-data fans are struggling

online shopping
online shopping

Crystal Cox / Business Insider

As Dan DeFrancesco and Bradley Saacks report, one of the earliest and most popular forms of alternative data is proving more difficult to handle these days. Investors like hedge funds have long leaned on credit-card data to uncover everything from new retail trends to the health of specific businesses.

But the pandemic has transformed shopping habits and made data unreliable. Vendors have been forced to do more hand-holding with clients, while banks are using techniques like post-stratification weighting and “swarming” to help make sense of the information. 

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Amazon adds to its warehouse empire

Amazon warehouse
Amazon warehouse

Mark Lennihan/AP

As Dan Geiger reports, Amazon just signed its largest lease ever in New York City. It’s also negotiating to lease a 620,000-square-foot office and warehouse space in Red Hook, Brooklyn, that is under construction, a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations told Business Insider.

The moves mark the latest in a dramatic expansion of the $1.3 trillion company’s logistics operations — which serve as the backbone for Amazon’s booming e-commerce business.

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What’s next for buy now, pay later fintechs

Startups like Klarna are luring millennial shoppers with installment payment plans.
Startups like Klarna are luring millennial shoppers with installment payment plans.

Astrid Stawiarz/Stringer/Getty Images

Buy now, pay later, also known as point-of-sale financing, has been surging as consumers shift their spending online. Fintechs like Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna are now looking to expand beyond their installment-lending roots. Affirm is exploring more financial products with the launch of a high-yield savings account, and Klarna just rolled out a loyalty program for users.

As Shannen Balogh reports, with growth comes new challenges, like managing consumer credit at scale. The fintechs could start looking for partnerships with banks, or find themselves to be acquisition bait.

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FA recruiting is transforming 

recruiting job
recruiting job

portishead1/GettyImages

As Rebecca Ungarino reports, elements of virtual financial adviser recruiting will stay with the industry post-pandemic as wealth management firms have adapted during remote work. 

“All of this is going to be much easier to move advisers, clients; all of this happening together is going to support a whole lot more movement,” one veteran adviser recruiter said. 

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On the move

Titi Cole Citigroup
Titi Cole Citigroup

Citigroup

Citigroup has poached a top exec from Wells Fargo to run operations and anti-fraud within its Global Consumer Banking division — a unit that has been remodeled over the past year with ambitions of growing revenues and better competing with other top US banks. 

Titi Cole, previously EVP and head of operations and contact centers for the consumer and small business division at Wells Fargo, will join Citi in August as head of global operations and fraud prevention in the consumer bank, according to memo from Jane Fraser, president of Citi and CEO of GCB. 

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