n a memo today, Lawrence J. Lasser
, ceo of Putnam Investments
, informed his employees that the firm would be laying off 256 employees or 4 percent of its staff.
The memo went on to say that last year's market volatility had a significant impact on Putnam's growth, which in turn has caused the company to reexamine its current and planned programs to find the right balance between its responsibilities to institutional clients, mutual fund shareholders and current markets.
Further, Lasser explained that the firm has concluded that its size and expense levels should be brought closer to what they were before last year. The firm experienced what he terms a growth spurt in 2000.
"This will align Putnam more closely to the current market environment and help to assure "business as usual" going forward," Lasser wrote in the memo. "The decision making process was careful, but difficult. We recognize and regret the hardship this action will have on those people whose jobs have been eliminated. We think we did the right thing for the company and the more than 6,000 employees who carry on."
A spokesperson for Putnam said the lay-offs will be across the board. The memo said the same, giving the example that since the firm was receiving fewer shareholder calls, it now requires fewer people to answer phones.
The investments division will be combining some functions however there will be new additions. 20 new MBA graduates are scheduled to join the professional staff later this year. And, the firm will continue recruiting as determined by their need for professionals.
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