Investment firm will lay off 31 more, growing list of job cuts due to outsourcing to 206 | Business Observer

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ST. PETERSBURG — Franklin Templeton Investments is laying off an additional 31 people in St. Petersburg, bringing the total number of layoffs to 206.

The company had originally notified the state that 175 people were losing their jobs, but then sent a follow up letter six days later upping that to 206. The letter does not explain why the number of employees losing their jobs changed.

The layoffs will begin Jan. 31 and the job losses will be permanent.

The letter was sent to meet federally mandated Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act requirements.

The investment firm, in both letters to the state, says the job cuts are a result of a decision to outsource work done by its global transfer agency to Jacksonville-based FIS Global, a financial products and services company.

The two companies announced an agreement in early November that FIS would take over as Franklin Templeton’s global transfer agent and “function as a sub-agent or delegate, depending on the jurisdiction.”

In a statement announcing the agreement, Alok Sethi, executive vice president of technology and operations at Franklin Templeton, says the decision was made in part because of its purchase of the investment firm Legg Mason.

“We have made it a priority to move the combined firm to a single transfer agent platform, which will allow financial professionals and fund shareholders to purchase and exchange all of our funds with ease.”

The news is not all bad for the employees.

According to the letter, FIS is offering the employees a “substantially equivalent position” with the same pay and the same, or similar, responsibilities. Job offers will be made before employees’ last day on the job ensuring, the letter says, a “smooth transition without a gap in employment.”

Unsaid, however, is whether those positions will be in St. Petersburg or elsewhere.

An FIS spokeswoman has not responded to questions about whether employees would continue in St. Petersburg or have to move.

Franklin Templeton’s local office is on Fountain Parkway in the Carillon development.

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