Large Kansas City employer mum over details of layoff plans aimed at 1,500 jobs

State Street Corp. is one of the Kansas City area’s largest private employers and has offices downtown.
State Street Corp. is one of the Kansas City area’s largest private employers and has offices downtown. Google

Boston-based State Street Corp., with a large downtown Kansas City operation, confirmed plans Friday to cut jobs at its “high-cost locations” without identifying where the layoffs would hit.

A spokeswoman said the cutbacks would not involve some of State Street’s overseas operations but provided no details about sites that would be affected.

“It’s a global initiative that is aimed at high-cost locations, not the ‘global hubs’ in India, China, Poland,” an email from the spokeswoman said. “Over the past 5 years our headcount had grown too much, so we needed to address.”

The company had about 1,500 Kansas City-area employees at the start of 2017, according to a listing by the Kansas City Business Journal. State Street had 36,643 employees at the end of 2017 and operations in California, New York, New Jersey and other parts of the United States as well as in Japan, Europe and Australia.

State Street’s announcement said it would reduce its workforce by 6 percent, or about 1,500 jobs and that 15 percent of its senior managers would be part of the cutbacks.

Downtown Kansas City suffered a significant layoff last year at DST Systems Inc., which had about 4,000 area employees before it was purchased by a Connecticut-based company.

DST Systems and State Street each provide services to financial firms such as mutual fund companies and have a history of ties. Last year, DST Systems bought State Streets’ half of two joint ventures the companies owned in transactions valued at more than $300 million.

The workforce cuts at State Street come as the company “realizes benefits of automation and standardization of global processes,” the announcement said.

“Structural costs are still too high and our automation efforts have not moved fast enough,” State Street CEO Ronald O’Hanley said in the announcement.

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