Eight staff lose jobs at Fidelity

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Eight employees from Fidelity International Limited's local office lost their jobs after the company was forced to make cutbacks as it struggles to adapt to plunging financial markets and the global economic crisis.

The investment management company confirmed yesterday that staff were made aware of the redundancies on Friday.

FIL (Bermuda) head of office and managing director Allan Pelvang said the employees affected were from positions across the spectrum of the company's operations and that he hoped the cuts would be the last in the Bermuda operation, which had employed 73 people before the redundancies.


Eight employees from Fidelity International Limited's local office lost their jobs after the company was forced to make cutbacks as it struggles to adapt to plunging financial markets and the global economic crisis.

The investment management company confirmed yesterday that staff were made aware of the redundancies on Friday.

FIL (Bermuda) head of office and managing director Allan Pelvang said the employees affected were from positions across the spectrum of the company's operations and that he hoped the cuts would be the last in the Bermuda operation, which had employed 73 people before the redundancies.

"We have been, over the past few months, looking very hard at how to cut costs," Mr. Pelvang said. "We tried to cut in a number of areas but decided we would also have to reduce staff expenses."

The cut represents an 11 percent slash of the Bermuda operation's staff complement.

"We decided we had to make a number of positions redundant and this was not something we took lightly," Mr. Pelvang said, adding that the mood at the company was "sombre" yesterday.

The job losses affected both Bermudian and expatriate staff members. "We have a high percentage of Bermudians who work here so it has affected everyone," he said. Sixty-three percent of the company's employees are Bermudian.

Calling the cuts "regrettable", Mr. Pelvang said, while no one can really predict what will happen given the current volatile financial reality, "we hope that's it for now". He also pointed out that while Fidelity Investments announced last week that it would cut 2.9 percent of its global staff of 44,000 this month and in the first quarter of 2009, FIL's Bermuda operations are completely separate from that US arm of Fidelity and are unaffected by that announcement.

When asked about notice periods and whether the company would be providing redundancy pay, Mr. Pelvang said it was against policy to discuss the details of severance. "It is Fidelity policy never to go into any details re compensation matters as we consider these facts confidential to the relevant staff members and the company," he said. "However, at a more general level, I can confirm that all staff will receive payments in excess of Fidelity's statutory obligations."

The company is one of only a few in Bermuda yet to announce redundancies as result of the economic crisis sending economies around the world into recession. In August, XL announced that it would be slicing 47 jobs from its workforce of 320 in Bermuda. HSBC followed in September saying that it would cut seven positions in Bermuda as 1,100 jobs are shaved worldwide. And American International Group (AIG) said, after its parent company was taken over by the US Federal Reserve, that it anticipated only one to two job losses in Bermuda as a result of the company's struggles and restructuring.

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