Amundi and Pioneer Face Post-Merger Cuts, But ...
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Amundi and Pioneer Face Post-Merger Cuts, But ...

The CEO of Pioneer's [profile] acquirer is planning to cut nine percent of staff once the two companies combine. Yet it's unclear how that will affect Pioneer's team on this side of the pond.

Yves Perrier
Amundi CEO Yves Perrier plans to cut 450 jobs out of a total of 5,000 once Amundi absorbs Pioneer to achieve planned cost savings of 180 million euros (about $190 million), the Financial Times reports. Yet he predicts that two-thirds of the cuts "will come just from staff turnover."

"I have seen some in the British press say the deal will be a bloodbath for staff or some kind of slaughter," Perrier tells the FT. "It won't."

The paper offers a glimpse at Perrier's history and at his post-merger plans for Europe's biggest asset manager and sixth biggest mutual fund shop. The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year, and the FT reports that the Pioneer deal will make Amundi the eighth biggest asset manager in the world. Amundi is reportedly raising new capital to finance the $3.76-billion deal.

"The integration will be made, not like an acquisition, but like a merger. We have set up a steering committee to oversee this, which is co-chaired by myself and Giordano Lombardo, the chief executive of Pioneer," Perrier tells the paper. "That steering committee is made up of Amundi and Pioneer staff, which is key. As I said, we will make the choices based on efficiency and fairness."

"I had a meeting with 100 key managers within Pioneer and Amundi last week, and I told them this: you are not synergies, you are assets," Perrier adds.

The FT expects "admin, IT and back-office functions" to "be streamlined" as part of the cuts. Yet perhaps Pioneer's U.S. business will come out relatively unscathed; Amundi has a U.S. institutional arm, Amundi Smith Breeden, but no retail or advisor-sold presence.

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