oston-based Loomis, Sayles & Co.
is reducing its workforce by 28, or 5 percent, to cut costs, while hiring a new bond chief investment officer to help boost returns.
The unit of France-based CDC IXIS Asset Management
has extended early retirement packages to 38 workers, including six investment managers--four fixed-income and two equity managers, amid a dismal market environment.
The bulk of the balance leaving the company held support and back-office functions throughout the firm, a company spokesperson said. Those accepting the offer are to leave at year-end.
"The biggest element of this is, you want to treat people fairly," said Kevin Charleston, chief financial officer. "I think people know what kind of an environment we're in. People expect us, as good business managers, to make these decisions."
Though the firm opted to avoid laying employees off with the early retirement initiative, it has not ruled out doing so going forward.
In the meantime, Loomis has hired Jae Park
, 47, as its new fixed-income chief investment manager to manage over $52 billion. At IBM, Park oversaw $22 billion in fixed-income and cash investments for the company's retirement fund. The Boston firm serves as one of Big Blue's outside bond managers.
Park is taking over some duties of Loomis vice chairman Dan Fuss
, 68, who had overseen the firm's total return, or more opportunistic, fixed-income strategy. Park has been tapped to focus on both the core and total return bond management capabilities, the spokesperson said. Decisions on new hires in the bond management area are to be made by Park. Some 80 percent of the firm's client assets are in fixed-income.
Though bonds have generally been performing better than stocks of late, Loomis has lost 10 percent of its total assets from its 1999 peak in the past year. As stocks fell, large pension clients reduced bond holdings to maintain asset allocations, according to company executives.
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