California-based investment firm Franklin Templeton announced it is permanently letting go of 175 employees from its St. Petersburg office beginning Jan. 31.
In a letter to the state, local counsel for Franklin Templeton said the layoffs stem from a recent decision to outsource the work performed by its global transfer agency to Jacksonville-based FIS Global, a payment processor, and financial services company. The letter was sent to the state in accordance with the federally mandated Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act.
The letter stated that none of the 175 affected employees are represented by a union, and no bumping rights are applicable.
Franklin Templeton and FIS Global announced a partnership earlier this month, which will allow Franklin Templeton, which manages $1.56 trillion in global assets, to focus on its core business of investment management. The move enables FIS to broaden the transfer agency services it provides to investment managers and asset servicers.
“We’re pleased to be partnering with FIS, which will enable us to take our service delivery model to the next level,” said Alok Sethi, Executive Vice President of Technology and Operation at Franklin Templeton in a press release. “As with all of our decision, the needs of our customers are always at the forefront, and we expect this change will best support their future servicing needs.”
Sethi added the decision was partly due to Franklin Templeton’s acquisition of Legg Mason last year.
“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,” said Sethi.
In the WARN letter, John E. Phillips, counsel for Franklin Templeton, stated that FIS has agreed to offer the affected employees a “substantially equivalent position with the same or similar duties and compensation.”
Phillips added that FIS would extend the offer before their release date with Franklin Templeton, ensuring a smooth transition without an employment gap. Employees will be subject to a successful background check. The last day of employment for the affected workers is Jan. 31, or within 14 days following that date.
“By partnering with FIS, Franklin Templeton will be able to transition its transfer agency services to a managed solution to realize key servicing enhancements and operational efficiencies, while minimizing its enterprise risk, said Nasser Khodri, Head of Capital Markets for FIS in the press release.
“We look forward to welcoming the Franklin Templeton team members who will join FIS as an essential part of our business.”
The press release and the WARN letter did not mention if the Franklin Templeton employees can continue their work in St. Petersburg or will have to relocate when transitioning to Jacksonville-based FIS. Franklin Templeton’s local office is located on Fountain Parkway in the Carillon development.