The downturn in the economy has prompted Putnam Investments of Boston to lay off 256 workers, about four percent of its 6,000 employees, according to a memorandum issued last week by Lawrence J. Lasser, Putnam's CEO and president, to company employees. The memo was released to the public.

The cuts will be made across the board and will include senior level executives as well as administrators, portfolio managers and analysts, according to Laura McNamara, a company spokesperson. Approximately half the cuts are in administrative positions, she said. The layoffs will not affect company officers, she said.

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