February 3, 2009 / 4:20 PM / 11 years ago

Fidelity starts second round of layoffs

BOSTON, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Fidelity Investments, the world’s biggest mutual fund firm, will begin a second round of job cuts on Tuesday as it to seeks to reduce its work force by 7 percent.

“Today and over the next several weeks, we will proceed with the second layoff we announced last fall,” Fidelity spokeswoman Anne Crowley said in an email. The cuts were previously announced.

Boston-based Fidelity is one of a handful of large asset management firms to announce job cuts in the last several months after investors pulled billions of dollars out of mutual funds last year when the financial crisis deepened.

Citing the “unprecedented worldwide economic downturn”, Fidelity said in mid-November it would eliminate another 1,700 jobs in the first three months of 2009, bringing the total planned job cuts to 3,000. The company laid off 1,300 people in its first round of layoffs in November.

Late last year, privately held Fidelity employed nearly 44,000 people and managed roughly $1.24 trillion in mutual fund assets.

Declining assets directly affect mutual fund companies’ revenues as companies earn fees based on the amount of money invested.

Fidelity said the cost cutting will allow the company to remain robust. “These layoffs and other expense reduction steps we have implemented over the last several months will ensure our company maintains its strong financial status while also continuing to provide our clients and customers with the best products and services,” Crowley said in the email. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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