EarlyBirds Catch Pink Slip –

NEW YORK – Continuing an unsettling trend of holiday season layoffs, online private placement firm EarlyBirdCapital.com Inc. told 11 employees in mid-December that their services were no longer required. Nine of the pink slips were handed out to technical workers who had been charged with redesigning the company’s Web site, while the other two cuts came from customer service and marketing.

Although the move seemed to slash the New York-based firm’s overall staff by 38%, the ledger will only show a net loss of approximately 18% because of a concurrent hiring of six private equity professionals charged with running a new private client group.

“Our model is to be profitable in 2001, and to do that we have to monitor expenses,” said David Nussbaum, chairman and chief executive of EarlyBirdCapital.com. “We are now a net of five people leaner, although we have retained a three-person tech team.”

He added that the firm has not yet decided whether it will issue an official statement regarding the personnel decisions.