Citi workers take a hit in Cayman

Citi Hedge Fund Services are the latest financial services firm in Cayman to downsize as a result of the economic downturn.

‘2008 presented challenges for most businesses around the world and Citi Hedge Fund Services (Cayman) Ltd was no exception,’ said Office Manager Tracie Sewell.

‘It is important in any business to ensure staffing levels are reflective of current business requirements.’

However, Ms Sewell would not reveal the number of positions to be cut in Cayman.

When contacted, Citigroup headquarters in New York also would not confirm the number of staff to be cut in Cayman.

A spokeswoman would only confirm that cuts had been made and Cayman would be impacted as a part of the company’s overall staff reductions of 52,000 out of 352,000 employees worldwide.

‘It is our policy not to break the numbers down on a location by location basis,’ she said.

‘Furthermore, a lot of these reductions are being made through divestitures.’

It is estimated that less than a dozen positions in Cayman out of an overall staff of approximately 45 will be lost.

The cuts signal a major turnaround in the company’s fortunes. On 2 May, 2007, Citi agreed to pay almost $1.5 billion for Bisys Group, one of the world’s largest hedge fund administrators, keeping only Bisys’ investment services division, now know as Citi Hedge Fund Services.

At the time, the Wall Street Journal declared the deal instantly made Citi a major player in the hedge fund and mutual fund services business, as well as a top administrator for the private equity industry, a role that proved short-lived.

To date, Citigroup has devoured at least $45 billion in US federal bailout money. It recently raised eyebrows when its planned purchase of a $42 million corporate jet last month was axed following Congressional scrutiny.

Last week, Bloomberg reported the company had cancelled its Primerica Financial Services Inc.’s convention in Atlanta and a planned trip to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas for about 1,500 of the insurer’s top agents.

Citigroup also canceled a trip for Primerica agents to Eden Roc resort in Miami.

‘Our overall objective for 2009 and moving forward is to continue to build shareholder value, serve our clients and customers superbly well and create growth opportunities for our employees,’ said Ms. Sewell.