Fidelity Investments today confirmed it is initiating the first of two rounds of job cuts, laying off about 1,300 people this month, a company spokeswoman said.
This round of job reductions represents around 3 percent of Fidelity's worldwide workforce of 44,400. The company employs around 11,500 in Massachusetts. Spokeswoman Anne Crowley said the layoffs would be ''roughly proportional'' across its operations in the US and worldwide. If so, 3 percent of the Massachusetts workforce would be 345 positions. It also has major facilities in New Hampshire and Rhode Island
Fidelity will follow with a second layoff in the first quarter of next year, with details of that still to be finalized, Crowley said.
In a letter to employees today company president Rodger A. Lawson said "difficult times" in financial markets and the economy have "resulted in a significant negative effect'' on Fidelity's revenue, prompting him to "reluctantly" accelerate a three-year cost-cutting plan.
"At times like this it is critical to maintain the strong financial status of the company while also ensuring we continue to provide our clients with the best products and services available in the industry.''
One goal of the layoffs is to reduce layers of management, Lawson wrote, adding that "this simplification of our organization also will help us address the speed-to-market concerns which have been a major focus for us all.''
Crowley said the two layoffs would result in fewer than the 4,000 job cuts that news reports last week indicated the company was considering.
(By Ross Kerber, Globe Staff. Ross Kerber can be reached at email@example.com)