Mike Mayo, an outspoken Wall Street analyst who was often a thorn in bank CEOs’ sides, was laid off with about 90 other people on Monday when Chinese brokerage CLSA decided to close its US operations.
Rick Gould, CEO of CLSA Americas, said in a statement that “the economics of providing US equity research have become increasingly challenged.”
CLSA, which is owned by Hong Kong-based CITIC Securities, announced the cuts at about 4 p.m., according to one former employee.
Mayo, who’s as close to a celebrity as any bank analyst has gotten in recent memory, has built a career taking on Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Comerica and other major banks for being too risky and paying their top executives too much.
In 2007, Mayo’s relentless criticism of Citi’s then-CEO Chuck Prince contributed to Prince’s ouster.
Mayo has since gone after Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and Brian Moynihan, of Bank of America, for making millions in compensation.
This isn’t the first time that Mayo has been shown the door.
In 2000, he was fired by Credit Suisse First Boston after downgrading some of the biggest names on Wall Street to “sell”—a designation that most analysts avoid like the plague, for fear of upsetting bosses and clients.
He’s even written a memoir about it: “Exile on Wall Street.”
The layoffs come one day before JPMorgan was scheduled to have its investor day — one of the few days each year when analysts get to grill top Wall Street brass for a public audience.
That may be a relief for Dimon, who has sparred with Mayo in the past.
In 2013, after Mayo asked a few probing questions about the bank’s overall health, the bank CEO dismissed the question altogether.
“That’s why I’m richer than you,” Dimon told him then.
Mayo declined to comment.
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