WASHINGTON D.C. - Phillip J. Purcell, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter of New York, and Charles R. Schwab, chairman and co-chief executive officer of Charles Schwab of San Francisco said their recent decisions to cut jobs were among the most regrettable of their careers.

Speaking at the general meeting of the Investment Company Institute of Washington D.C. last week, both executives said the layoffs were the first in both companies' histories. Schwab was forced to cut 3,000 positions or 13 percent of its staff, according to the company chairman. Morgan Stanley was forced to cut 1,500 positions, according to Purcell.

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