Lehman Brothers will eliminate 7% to 8% of the 200 professional positions in its municipal finance area during the next week, Steven Faigen, the firm's director of corporate communications, confirmed yesterday.

In recent days, Faigen said, Lehman has been engaged in a "head count reduction exercise." The latest reductions are part of a program to cut staff by approximately 300 positions throughout the firm, Lehman sources said.

Each department in the municipal finance area will be affected by the layoffs, Faigen said. Sources at the firm said no management positions are involved.

Rumors of layoffs at several big firms based in New York have made the rounds on Wall Street in recent weeks. Observers said layoffs will increase during the fourth quarter as the Street responds to shrinking volume and an increasingly hostile higher interest rate environment.

Elsewhere, a CS First Boston spokesperson confirmed yesterday that the firm eliminated 70 fixed-income positions. Of those, only one was in the municipal department, and that was a support position, the spokesperson said.

The remaining 69 positions were eliminated in the mortgage division, sources said.

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