Week of March 25, 2002
LOOKING FOR A PREVIOUS STORY? CHECK THE ARCHIVE.
Perhaps 600 Jobs Affected
Zurich Scudder Relocating
Retail Fund Business HQ
to Chicago from Boston
Zurich Scudder Investments' headquarters for its U.S. retail mutual fund business is headed to the Second City. The relocation to Chicago from Boston could involve 500 to 600 jobs, Zurich Scudder officials said.
Move Mirrors Business EvolutionZurich Scudder's existing base in Chicago was one relocation rationale cited by company officials.
That existing base symbolizes an evolution for the company's retail mutual fund business, which manages $115 billion in assets. And that evolution clearly pointed toward Chicago.
Zurich Financial Services Group gained a major foothold in the Second City in 1996, when it bought Chicago-based Kemper Corp. Kemper was strong in the intermediary business, in which funds are sold through third parties such as banks or brokers. Over time, Scudder, too, moved away from direct sales and toward the intermediary industry.
"Our intermediary business originated through Chicago," said Zurich Scudder spokeswoman Laura Trumble. "We're just reinforcing that by actually moving the headquarters to Chicago."
Post-Merger Cost Cuts CouldZurich Scudder, company officials said, will retain a major presence in Boston, where it has 900 employees. The city will continue to be home to Zurich Scudder's institutional business, its high-net-worth individuals business and its retirement services business, along with various support operations, company officials said.
Impact Total Jobs Transferred
The retail mutual fund headquarters relocation will affect employees in sales and marketing, portfolio management, and call center operations. Some of the affected employees will be offered transfers to Chicago, but some others will likely be laid off, company officials said.
Deutsche Bank's initiative to cut costs will have a major impact on how many jobs ultimately move from Boston to Chicago. The Frankfurt, Germany-based institution has said that it would cut 1,500 jobs during 2002 as part of the Zurich Scudder acquisition.
The work-force cutbacks and relocations should be completed before the end of 2002, company officials said.
Zurich Scudder's principal Chicago office is located at 222 South Riverside Plaza. The company, however, hasn't yet decided whether the retail mutual fund group will relocate in that facility, Trumble said.
South Central Ky. Lands Kiriu's
'Most Strategic Overseas Operation in the World'
A subsidiary of Japan's second-largest producer of automotive brake rotors, Kiriu USA is building a 35,000-sq.-ft. (3,150-sq.-m.) facility in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park.
Kiriu picked that location after investigating sites in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Much of the plant's output will be headed for Nissan's plant in Smyrna, Tenn. Kiriu is an official Nissan supplier in the USA.
Location Rationale: 'Strategic"Bowling Green was selected . . . not only because of its strategic location for the automotive parts supplier, but also because of the very supportive community for new industry and further business development," said Kiriu President Toshio Nakagawa.
Location, Supportive Community'
"Kiriu was also attracted because of Western Kentucky University and the dynamic growth of Bowling Green," he continued. "Consequently, Kiriu is proud of selecting Bowling Green for its most strategic overseas operation in the world."
When completed later this year, the Bowling Green plant will sit some 83 miles (133 kilometers) from Nissan's Smyrna plant. In 2003, Kiriu USA expects its Bowling Green plant to branch out, expanding delivery of its auto brake rotors to American brake suppliers.
Kiriu should have no trouble in finding auto-sector players near its South Central Kentucky manufacturing operation. Sixty-two auto and truck plants are within next-day delivery distance from Bowling Green, which has a population of some 50,000 residents.
Best Buy Headed North to Alaska
Continuing to expand like the Energizer Bunny, Best Buy is making its first foray into Alaska. The Minneapolis-based company has announced plans to open a 45,000-sq.-ft. (4,050-sq.-m.) store in Anchorage. The store, Best Buy's first American operation outside the continental U.S., will employ 125 workers.
PLEASE VISIT OUR SPONSOR CLICK ABOVE
©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.