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Canaccord Genuity is revamping the leadership of its trading desk, letting go two big name veterans who ran the desk for years.

Canaccord said Wednesday that David Morrison, co-head of institutional trading, and John Esteireiro, head of institutional equity trading, are no longer with the firm. In their place, Jason Melbourne becomes co-head of sales and Darren Hunter becomes head of trading. Graham Saunders remains in his role as co-head of sales.

Traders Peter Dunlop and Kyle Smith have also departed.

The changes were announced in an internal memorandum from Canaccord Genuity president Matthew Gaasenbeek, who said that new leadership was required in a difficult market for stock trading, which has been in a slump all across the Canadian brokerage industry for more than a year.

Canaccord and its rivals are struggling to make money trading stocks as commissions shrink and volumes decline. That is putting pressure on desks to work harder for less money.

"The Canadian equities market has been undergoing a significant shift over the past few years and I believe this places even greater demands on us all to be more responsive, efficient and collaborative," Mr. Gaasenbeek wrote. "The leadership team we have now put in place is well equipped to manage through these challenging times."

Mr. Morrison and Mr. Esteireiro were among the founding partners at Genuity Capital Markets. When Canaccord bought Genuity three years ago, they assumed the leadership roles on the combined sales and trading desk.

Their departures follow those of two other senior Genuity partners. Last week, top-ranked bank analyst Mario Mendonca resigned to go to TD Securities, and investment banker Earl Rotman retired from the business to move into private equity. They too were among the original Genuity partners who split off from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to start their own firm.

Canaccord Genuity is the investment banking and securities subsidiary of Canaccord Financial Inc.

(Boyd Erman is a Globe and Mail Capital Markets Reporter & Streetwise Columnist.)

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