More than 100 jobs axed as company relocates

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  • Citi Hedge Fund Services is axing more than 100 jobs as part of the firm relocates overseas.

    Citi Hedge Fund Services is axing more than 100 jobs as part of the firm relocates overseas.
    (Mark Tatem)


A total of 105 jobs have been axed from Citi Hedge Fund Services as the unit relocates some of its functions to North America, The Royal Gazette can reveal.

It is understood that all staff will be offered the opportunity to relocate to North America. Those who do not wish to relocate will be offered severance packages.

The jobs relate to accounting and servicing functions at the operation's base in Hemisphere House, Church Street.

The unit, which provides administrative services to funds will continue to maintain a presence in Bermuda.

“After due consideration, Citi has decided to relocate some of its functions currently being performed out of its Bermuda office to its Center of Excellence sites in North America,” said Citigroup spokeswoman Nina Das.

“This effort is being undertaken to consolidate Citi's support functions, reduce overall expenses and create operating efficiencies.”

The job losses were the second to be announced in 24 hours - the Willowbank Hotel is to close with the loss of 46 full and part-time jjobs.

This afternoon Economy Minister Kim Wilson issued this statement: "The reality of the harsh economic climate cannot be ignored. The fact is that the economic challenges that we are facing as a Country are indiscriminate.

"It is being felt across all sectors of our community, and as Minister responsible for labour and economic matters, I want assure the community that I remain steadfast and committed to seeking and implementing solutions which we are optimistic will stimulate an economic turn around."

Specifically addressing the Willowbank closure, Senator Wilson said: "I too like the rest of Bermuda was quite saddened to learn about the closure of Willowbank.

"This is one of the Island's long standing tourism icons, and I'm sure this was not an easy decision for the management of the hotel to make. Willowbank has been a wonderful tourism ambassador on behalf of Bermuda, servicing tens of thousands of guests over the past five decades.

"Without question, our priority of concern is for the local members of staff who have been made redundant, as I'm certain this must be a terribly distressing time for them.

"I can confirm that the Department of Labour and Training is liaising with the management of Willowbank and Citigroup to lend its assistance, and we will do whatever we can that is within our resources to assist."

She issued a reminder that next Thursday she will join other local businesses in hosting a special forum called ‘The Great Debate: You and the Economy'.

And she encouraged as many members of the public to come and engage in a national discussion regarding the current economic climate.

Sen Wilson said: "In light of today's job loss announcements, we see this forum as incredibly timely.

"This event is a first of its kind and we see it as an innovative way of involving the public to address our challenges.

"While the main thrust of this event will be a discussion about our economy as it relates to the value of foreign revenue and the steps Bermuda must take to retain and grow its earnings, we are also keen to create an atmosphere of understanding, cooperation and partnership with all stakeholders to change the mind set of what we face as a community."

At next week's forum Sen Wilson will hold discussions with individuals who are unemployed specifically to hear their concerns regarding their job search efforts.

She added: "We clearly see this as a national issue which can only be tackled collectively."

Tonight, Shadow Finance Minister ET (Bob) Richards also issued a statement which said: "The latest news of job losses in Bermuda forms yet another data point in the declining trend in employment and opportunity available on our island.

"The Citi Hedge Fund Services' announcement is evidence that our problems are Bermuda-specific because these job losses are not layoffs as a result of downsizing. The company is not reducing jobs, merely moving them to be more efficient. The job losses to Bermuda are job gains for the United States and Canada.

"So, let's be very clear: This is not a global recession issue, it is an issue of Bermuda having become uncompetitive; an observation we have made repeatedly.

"Moreover, the Bermudians who do not move with the company will face the daunting prospect of searching for a new job in a very difficult environment.

"The Willowbank closure evidences well-known structural problems in our tourism hospitality sector – from marketing and pricing to investment value. It is a very sad conclusion to an old and familiar landmark.

"Meanwhile, the Government will have dwindling resources to assist the growing numbers of Bermudians out of work because of reckless spending when the economy was buoyant.

"Central to the OBA's plan to get Bermuda working again is to make it more competitive. One aspect of the plan targets rules and bureaucracy that have made us increasingly uncompetitive in the international market place.

"The transfer of jobs from Bermuda to the States by Citi Fund simply underlines the critical need for these reforms to begin yesterday."

Tonight, Shadow Finance Minister ET (Bob) Richards issued a statement which said: "The latest news of job losses in Bermuda forms yet another data point in the declining trend in employment and opportunity available on our island.

"The Citi Hedge Fund Services’ announcement is evidence that our problems are Bermuda-specific because these job losses are not layoffs as a result of downsizing. The company is not reducing jobs, merely moving them to be more efficient. The job losses to Bermuda are job gains for the United States and Canada.

"So, let’s be very clear: This is not a global recession issue, it is an issue of Bermuda having become uncompetitive; an observation we have made repeatedly.

"Moreover, the Bermudians who do not move with the company will face the daunting prospect of searching for a new job in a very difficult environment.

"The Willowbank closure evidences well-known structural problems in our tourism hospitality sector – from marketing and pricing to investment value. It is a very sad conclusion to an old and familiar landmark.

"Meanwhile, the Government will have dwindling resources to assist the growing numbers of Bermudians out of work because of reckless spending when the economy was buoyant.

"Central to the OBA’s plan to get Bermuda working again is to make it more competitive. One aspect of the plan targets rules and bureaucracy that have made us increasingly uncompetitive in the international market place.

"The transfer of jobs from Bermuda to the States by Citi Fund simply underlines the critical need for these reforms to begin yesterday."

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Published Sep 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm (Updated Sep 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm)

More than 100 jobs axed as company relocates

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