Ameriprise Financial Inc. Tuesday became the latest financial services company to lay off workers. The financial planning and insurance company announced that 300 employees in its Minneapolis headquarters will be out of a job by week's end. An undisclosed number of workers in its field leadership and branch offices also are being let go.
The move largely does not affect financial advisers or client services employees, the company said.
Job cuts in the field organization are due to the acquisition of H&R Block Financial Advisors, which gave Ameriprise "an opportunity to remake our entire employee adviser force," said Ameriprise spokesman Benjamin Pratt.
A total of 5,700 Ameriprise workers are based in Minnesota, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Beyond the 300 cuts in Minneapolis, the company would not disclose how many more of its 8,750 workers worldwide are joining the unemployed, but said that the reductions are spread throughout the organization at all levels and include mutual fund subsidiary RiverSource Investments.
"In response to market conditions and the business outlook we have for 2009, we just had to accelerate re-engineering efforts to make sure our expense base is in line with our revenue opportunity," Pratt said.
The staff reductions will result in a $60 million write-off for the fourth quarter of 2008 and savings of more than $80 million in 2009, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Over the long term, the restructuring is projected to save $130 million annually.
Ameriprise announces earnings on Jan. 28. The company, spun off by American Express Co. in 2005, posted its first quarterly loss for the period ending Sept. 30, 2008. On a day when the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 4 percent, closing below 8,000 for the first time since Nov. 20, Ameriprise shares dropped $3.73, or 17.5 percent, to $17.58 Tuesday as financial stocks led the market's broad retreat.
Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293