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SRI firm Calvert Investments lays off 41 staff in restructuring

Equities and fixed income investment chiefs to leave at year-end

US-based socially responsible investor Calvert Investments is laying off 41 employees – 28% of its staff.

It is also reducing fees on funds and re-organising its management to boost competitiveness and growth.

Speaking to Responsible Investor, Calvert’s Chief Executive John Streur confirmed that his firm would reduce headcount by 41 to 103 by the end of the year, adding that the layoffs mainly affected its IT and sales/advertising departments.

At the same time, Streur said Calvert’s management would be re-organised to create a new ‘Executive Office’ to include himself and Executive Vice Presidents Lynne Ford and Vicki Benjamin. Benjamin, who joined Calvert earlier this year from KPMG, has been given the additional role of Chief Operating Officer.

The re-organisation means Natalie Trunow and Cathy Roy, the respective heads of Calvert’s equity and fixed income teams, will also leave the firm at the end of this year. Streur expects to save more than $9m as a result of the cost-cutting measures.

Calvert, part of Nebraska-based mutual insurance firm Ameritas, has reduced fees on its 41 mutual funds and plans to build out its research and analytics arm to support its responsible investing.“We are creating a firm that is more squarely centred around the investment management and research processes. That will make us more competitive on a global basis,” he told the Washington Business Journal, which first reported on the layoffs.

Calvert also announced in June the rollout of three new responsible indices targeting, respectively, US large caps, growth stocks and value ones. The product push also entailed the launch of two index funds, each based on one of the new indices.

Calvert wants to raise its assets under management to $30bn by the end of the decade from $12.4bn currently. According to Streur, Calvert, which had sales of $120m in 2014, was profitable that year and will be again this year.

Streur took over from long-time CEO Barbara Krumsiek at the start of this year. He said: “Nobody wants to ask good and well-liked employees to find another job. But Calvert had stayed with a business model that our competitors had moved away from for a fairly long period.”