SunGard Trading Systems global markets division is laying off over 20% of its worldwide workforce. Staff were told of the cuts in a memo circulated by Jim Davis, who moved from HP to head up the Sungard business unit in November.
According to the Davis email, dated 21 January, the redundancy programme will affect all staff in London, Asia, New York and Los Angeles. The cutbacks have been made in response to demands for improved revenue and operating income at the unit, which provides solutions in front-office trade transaction processing and order management for global fixed income, foreign exchange and money markets.
In the memo, Davis says the global markets division has negotiated a budget and targets in line with the previous year. He then points to revenue growth of 20% at other Sungard Trading Systems units.
"We want to make our numbers this year, and grow at these rates next year," the memo states. "The only way to make the numbers achievable is to greatly reduce our expenses. Our expenses are largely headcount."
It goes on to say that the cuts are a one-off response to difficult market conditions, and the position should improve as the economy begins to recover later this year.
SunGard has refused to confirm or deny the lay-offs. A SunGard spokesman says the company does not break-down earnings across the different divisions, nor could he provide details of the numbers of staff employed by Global Markets. He adds that SunGard is currently in a quiet period in advance of the release of earnings estimates later today and full fiscal results after market close tomorrow.
In September 2001, SunGard warned that the terrorist attacks on the US had impacted all sectors of its business and would dent third quarter results and its outlook for full-year 2001.
Analysts have since talked up the company's prospects as market volumes have returned to normal and deferred third quarter contracts have been picked up. SunGard's acquisition of Comdisco is also expected to generate steady income as firms invest more in outsourcing and disaster recovery.