Singapore-based Eastspring Investments is laying off staff after a "challenging" 2018 as the asset management firms in the region face rising costs and lower fee revenue.
Eastspring "is making some reductions in workforce numbers to reflect our changing requirements", a spokesperson told Asia Asset Management. "The reductions are in line with what is needed by the business at this time."
The decision to cut staff at the Asian investment management arm of UK insurer Prudential plc not one that was "taken lightly", the spokesperson added. "However, a staffing adjustment is necessary at this time."
As we have embarked on an upgrade of our systems and processes, it's natural that our workforce would evolve to meet the future needs of our organisation"
"Overall, the market in 2018 was challenging. Across the board, asset management firms are facing rising costs and lower fee revenue. We have been reviewing all areas of our business to determine which initiatives and activities should be prioritised in the current operating environment," the Eastspring spokesperson said. "As we have embarked on an upgrade of our systems and processes, it's natural that our workforce would evolve to meet the future needs of our organisation."
Other firms in Asia have axed jobs after financial markets were battered last year by the US-China trade war, rising US interest rates and slowing economic growth, taking a toll on their profits. Hong Kong's Value Partners Group, cut "a small number" of staff in January after net profits plunged 89% year-on-year to $29.4m in 2018.
According to the spokesperson, Eastspring is in a "strong position relative to our competitors".
"Asia remained the key contributor to the Prudential Group's 2018 result. We will continue to invest in high-priority initiatives that we believe will drive growth and allow us to capitalise on opportunities, whilst looking at ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency," the spokesperson added.
Eastspring Investments had $193bn of assets under management at the end of 2018.