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Boston Finance Jobs Cut with Putnam

Posted on November 19, 2008

Another company is cutting Boston finance jobs.

Putnam Investments
recently fired 12 money managers, according to an article by Bloomberg. The layoffs came after the company’s assets fell 39 percent in the past year. Putnam follows in the footsteps of Fidelity Investments and Janus Capital Group Inc., who have taken steps to save money among the worse stock-market losses since the 1930s.

Putnam, based in Boston, is the asset-management unit of Canadian insurer Great-West Lifeco Inc., which is planning on cutting an additional 35 jobs. This will include 17 job cuts in the company’s quantitative analysis team, as well as a merger of six funds into larger ones. Putnam’s quantitative analysis team will be reduced to nine employees from 26, while the U.S. and international research teams will be merged. The layoffs account for about 2 percent of the company’s 2,500 employees.

The changes are the biggest since Robert Reynolds, a former Fidelity vice chairman, took over as Putnam’s chief executive officer in July. Reynolds, 56, said the company was moving too slowly in adjusting to the market.

“It became clear to me that we had too many people in the decision-making process,” Reynolds said in the article. “The whole goal here is to enhance investment results for our clients.”

Fidelity, also based in Boston, recently announced its plan to cut 3,000 jobs, or 7 percent of its 44,400-member workforce. This move came after the company’s assets fell about 13 percent in the first nine months of the year. Denver-based Janus is eliminating about 115 jobs, or 9 percent of its staff, to cut costs, while AllianceBernstein Holding LP of New York is making unspecified job reductions.