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Business Observer Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 7 months ago

Investment firm to lay off 175 employees locally as it outsources work

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Franklin Templeton to layoff employees in St. Petersburg; those affected will have job opportunities at Jacksonville-based FIS.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

ST. PETERSBURG — Franklin Templeton Investments is laying of 175 employees in St. Petersburg. The layoffs will begin Jan. 31 and the job losses will be permanent.

The investment firm, in a letter 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 letter was sent to meet federally mandated Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act requirements.

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 WARN 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 did not immediately respond 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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