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Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Fund Firm Trims Staff

by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Asset managers continue to reel from the sustained down-market. The Kansas City Star reports that Ivy Funds manager Waddell & Reed Financial told its employees Thursday that the firm aims to cut payroll by 15 percent in December. CEO Hank Hermann basically blamed falling stock prices for the moves.

"The market's taken a cleaver to our assets under management," Herrmann said, pointing to a drop to $47 billion, from $59.9 billion at the end of September.

The Star cited one round of "voluntary separation" for employees who opt in, followed by a round of layoffs next week. And Hermann said other expense reductions, including cut travel budgets and possible fund consolidation, are also on the table.

The firm employs 1,030 people in its Overland Park, Kansas headquarters.

Waddell & Reed spokesman Roger Hoadley told The MFWire that the voluntary separation started last Friday and will continue through December 4.

The firm will then "look at the results of the voluntary program to determine whether involuntary separation is necessary," he said.  

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