Jobs will go at Gartmore

THE 1,100 employees in the fund management businesses of NatWest and Gartmore are this weekend braced for hundreds of job losses, following last week's merger announcement.

Paul Myners, chairman of Gartmore and of the combined operation, told the Independent on Sunday there would be departures: "There's inevitably scope for rationalisation, but it is too soon to say where."

NatWest last week paid pounds 466m for Gartmore. By combining its own fund management operations with Gartmore's, it will have pounds 55bn under management, making it the fourth biggest non-life fund manager.

One banking analyst said: "The job cuts could be pretty savage." He said most of the jobs in both companies were administrative, and there was no way that the combined operation needed as many people. There could also be cuts among the fund managers and in the marketing departments.

Although Gartmore executives are expected to take most of the senior positions in the combined operation, Mr Myners said there would be no favouritism: "This is and will continue to be a meritocracy. High quality people can look forward to a challenging and rewarding career here."

The actively managed part of the business will use the Gartmore name. However, the passive management business, computer-based index tracking funds, will be separately branded under the NatWest name and run as a discrete business.

Gartmore employs 500 people and the asset management arm of NatWest has 600.

NatWest may have to relocate the operation - neither its Crutched Friars building nor Gartmore's offices at the Monument are big enough to hold the combined operation.

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