Iberia Capital Partners, an energy-focused unit of Lafayette-based IberiaBank Corp., is closing its trading and equity research operations in New Orleans, while retaining its brokerage operations.

The unit has fewer than 20 employees, and IberiaBank spokeswoman Beth Ardoin said she could not specify how many of those workers will lose their jobs or how many will remain with the brokerage.

Some people will have the opportunity to move to other positions with IberiaBank, Ardoin said. IberiaBank also has a strong energy lending team in Houston, and its work will not be affected by the reductions in services at Iberia Capital Partners.

Iberia Capital Partners followed more than 40 exploration-and-production companies and oilfield service firms, according to its website

The energy sector and the performance of publicly traded companies in that industry slumped along with oil prices over the past three years. Oil and gas companies and the firms that service them are slowly emerging from the latest bust. But the energy sector is much changed now, Ardoin said.

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