Putnam Investments said Thursday that it will lay off 260 employees, or about 10% of its work force, mostly in distribution and operations.

The cuts also will affect some sales employees, the asset management company said.

The reductions are being made to position the Boston company for growth and to reflect current economic conditions, said Jeffrey Carney, senior managing director and head of global marketing and products.

The moves are part of a restructuring of Putnam's business model begun by Robert Reynolds, a veteran of rival Fidelity Investments, who became Putnam's president and chief executive in July.

The company restructured its equity investment unit in November, cutting more than 40 jobs, including 12 portfolio managers and a large part of its quantitative research team, in an effort to turn around its poorly performing stock mutual funds.

It has brought in almost 20 research analysts and replaced five of its six large-cap stock managers, Mr. Carney said.

Putnam, a unit of Toronto's Power Financial Corp., seeks to be a player in the U.S. retail mutual fund business through advisers, in the retirement business with its 401(k) programs, and in both the domestic and international institutional markets, he said.

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