Money managers said they have laid off or plan to lay off nearly 3,600 staffers as a result of financial market swoons.
For example, Boston-based Fidelity Investments alone reportedly announced plans to cut about 3,000 jobs beginning this month through the first quarter of next year; Morgan Stanley & Co., New York, plans to lay off 9% of its asset management unit; MFS Investment Management Inc., Boston, said the firm has cut 90 positions or 5% of its total staff.
Meanwhile, Putnam Investments LLC, Boston, plans to lay off 47 staffers, including 14 portfolio managers; Legg Mason Capital Management Inc., Baltimore, intends to slash 40 to 50 of its approximately 140 employees, and Janus Capital Group Inc., Denver, plans to eliminate 115 jobs.
Some search firm executives estimate the money management industry in general will eliminate 10% to 20% of staff positions.
Said Richard Lannamann, vice chairman of SpencerStuart Inc., New York: “This is the worst environment in the investment world I've seen during my 39-year career. In term of the employment situation, it'll be more severe and last longer.”
Added John Siciliano, vice chairman of merchant bank Grail Partners LLC, New York: “The market has fallen so far that even the relatively stable asset management sector can't avoid changes.” In some cases, layoffs might not be a bad thing because it will make firms more efficient, he said.
Debra Brown, managing director of asset and wealth management recruiting practice at Russell Reynolds Associates, New York, believes massive job cutting is happening only at selected firms. “Not everybody is doing it,” she said.
“Anecdotally, we see some insurance companies who own asset management are looking to hire people on the general account level as well as in the business units,” said Ms. Brown.