A round of layoffs has hit the investment product marketing firm whose services carry an exclusive endorsement from the American Bankers Association.
The firm, Wall Street Investor Services, last week cut eight employees, nearly one-tenth of its New York headquarters staff.
The company is retrenching in response to slumping sales of mutual funds by its client banks and a restructuring that made a number of home office jobs unnecessary, said executive vice president Eric Alexander.
Client service "absolutely will not be affected," and no additional layoffs are planned, he said.
The highest-ranking executive affected by the shakeup was Hal Rose, a senior vice president who served as a contact for the company's bank clients in the South. Mr. Alexander confirmed the departure, but declined to discuss the reasons.
Seven administrative and customer service staff members were also cut, Mr. Alexander said. He declined to name them or their positions.
The New York marketing firm also told its remaining 75 employees they might not receive bonuses for the second half of this year, Mr. Alexander confirmed.
The layoffs abruptly curtail a hiring spree that Wall Street Investor began after receiving the ABA's endorsement in February 1993. "The company was named the preferred vendor to help banks launch mutual fund sales programs, and has boosted its full-service clients to 90 banks as a result.
Wall Street Investor is not the only marketing firm to experience cutbacks this year. For example, Invest Financial Corp., a large Tampa, Fla., annuity and mutual fund marketer, dismissed a number of executives and regional managers this summer.
Officials at the ABA are taking the cuts at Wall Street Investor in stride, noting that the company still has more employees than it did a year ago.
Wall Street Investor's restructuring is placing more resources and people closer to banks, said John Wolff, managing director of the Corporation for American Banking, the ABA unit that makes endorsements.
"We're quite satisfied with the job they're doing," Mr. Wolff said.
Wall Street Investor has kept the ABA aware of its plans for the layoffs and of its shift to a regional emphasis, Mr. Wolff said.
As part of the regional drive, Wall Street Investor recently acquired a small brokerage in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
The firm, Pacific Financial Partners, will serve as Wall Street Investor's West Coast regional office.