Charlottesville-based CFA Institute eliminated about 140 jobs across the world Monday as part of an organizational restructuring and a shift to providing more of its financial industry services online.
Affected employees will continue to receive their regular salaries and benefits through next summer, in addition to severance packages, though they will not report to work, institute officials said.
Company officials talked with employees Monday to discuss changes in responsibilities, job titles and chain-of-command and informed those whose jobs will be eliminated.
CFA Institute is the organization that creates the curriculum, code of ethics and exams that underlie the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. The institute establishes standards for investment professionals and training and testing to accredit them.
The institute rolled out some of the changes in August and gave employees advance notice that the new structure would result in job eliminations.
The institute employs an estimated 440 people in Charlottesville. How many local jobs are affected by the restructuring was not available Monday.
“CFA Institute is a tight-knit community, and eliminating roles was a difficult decision to make,” officials said in a statement. “With a deep understanding of the challenging times we are in, we are extending our notice period from 60 days to 10 months.”
The organization also is offering outplacement services and employee education credits to those whose jobs were eliminated.
“In recognition of the difficult economic environment around the world, we are providing each affected employee, regardless of their tenure with CFA Institute, full pay and benefits through Aug. 2, 2021, after which employees will receive our standard severance packages,” said Marg Franklin, CEO and president of CFA Institute.
“While choices like this are always tough, I am heartened that we are able to provide those affected with full pay and benefits well into 2021,” she said. “We deeply value our employees and appreciate the continued support of our community of members, candidates and societies.”
Franklin said the institute is expecting to create 50 new support positions within the new structure and that those who lost jobs are welcomed to apply.
Institute officials said the organization has followed its own advice over the years and that has put it in the position to support the employees whose jobs it is eliminating.
“Strong stewardship of our financial resources is an important principle of CFA Institute and we have always managed our business prudently,” officials said in a statement. “This has provided us with the necessary financial resources during this downturn to keep our organization on sound financial footing. It also enables us to offer significantly enhanced notice period packages to our departing team members.”
In addition to Charlottesville, the institute has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., London, Brussels, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. The organization remodeled and renovated the former Martha Jefferson Hospital building after the hospital, now owned by Sentara Healthcare, built a new facility in Albemarle County.
CFA officials said the job eliminations and restructuring have been under study for some time. A recent shift to online testing and education led to some job losses while the COVID-19 pandemic hastened many other changes.
The company said the changes will allow CFA to adapt to changes within the financial industry, including an increased reliance on technology and online presence.
“Our recent move to computer-based testing for all three levels of the CFA program is one major way in which we’re adapting to the needs of investment professionals,” the company statement said. “This move has changed the way our organization operates in a digital world, while the wide-ranging effects of COVID-19 further amplified and accelerated the need for us to change our organizational structure.”
Over the past several months, the leadership has been focused on creating the new operating model to “drive greater effectiveness and efficiency in terms of how we operate, collaborate, make decisions and deliver our strategic priorities,” officials said.
“This is a period of significant change for CFA Institute, and we are confident that our new structure will benefit us in the long-term, allowing us to modernize, to operate more efficiently and to better meet the needs of our charter holders, members, candidates, societies and other stakeholders around the world,” Franklin said.