160 Employees Face 'Redeployment'

Yesterday, Fidelity Investments informed approximately 160 employees that their positions would be eliminated in 60 days. The 'redeployment' within the institutional unit, which currently has a staff of 1,750, is not part of any broader cost-cutting mandates within the firm, said Fidelity spokesperson Anne Crowley.

'Our company does not typically do across-the-board layoffs or cost-cutting, so there have been no initiatives to cut costs by 'x' amount,' said Crowley. 'As a matter of course, the business units are always making judgments about what their needs are.'

However, it appears the scope of the current move has been at least slightly affected by the down turn in the markets.

'Fidliety and its business units, like any company out there, have certainly felt the impact of the current economy and the persistent down market,' Crowley admitted. 'Each manager is addressing on a day-to-day basis how to deal with it.'

Nonetheless, Crowley pointed out that the 160 employees constitute less than half a percent of Fidelity's total workforce.

The cuts reach across the entire unit and throughout different management levels, according to Crowley. While she did say that several senior VP's and other high-level executives have been cut, she declined to specify which individuals are affected. 'They're not people who affect the external client audience,' she said.

Clients have not been informed specifically of the changes, although employees are prepared to field questions from curious clients, she said.

Employees in Boston and Smithfield, Rhode Island, will have 60 days to either find new jobs through in-house or outplacement recruiters. Those who are unsuccessful will collect a 60-day severance package.

'We have several hundred open positions throughout the company,' said Crowley, explaining that the firm hopes its past success at relocating employees will be repeated. She later added, 'We've hired well over 2,500 people this year.'

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