Dutch financial services giant ING continues to reorganize in preparation for its spinoff of its insurance operations.
ING says its plans to lay off 400 workers by the end of this year are underway. The actions will leave vacant 200 positions in the United States, says the company, which means it will reduce its workforce by approximately 5%.
The layoffs, which began last week, are across various segments of business in the United States, and include both insurance and retirement products. ING Life Insurance & Annuity Co. in Des Moines said it is planning to cut 38 jobs at its downtown Des Moines office.
"It's part of our efforts to sharpen our strategic focus and reduce administrative expenses as we get ready for our U.S.-focused IPO," said Dana Ripley, a spokesman for ING Insurance Americas.
The company reports it will hold two separate public stock offerings--one in Europe and one in the United States. The European company (ING Banking) will continue to trade as the surviving corporation under the current stock, which is issued in Europe, reports Bloomberg’s Business Week.
ING’s U.S. operations will focus on retirement services, the company said. The IPOs are expected to come sometime in early 2012.
This week, ING Group reduced its staff at its Windsor office by 60. The move is part of a global reorganization in which Thomas McInerney, the former Aetna executive who rose to head ING's global insurance operations, is leaving the company, according to the Hartford Courant’s CTNow.com website.
Ripley said that those employees being laid off were notified last week. Most will remain with ING until the end of the year.
Windsor, the largest location for ING in the United States and headquarters of the U.S. retirement services business, has 1,620 employees and about 200 outside contractors, Ripley said.
ING had 2,500 local employees when the company bought Aetna's financial services business in 2000, reports the Courant. At that time, McInerney served as head of that unit, and later rose to his current post as chief operating officer of ING Insurance, based in Amsterdam. McInerney also serves on the company’s corporate executive board.
Two European executives, who will join the management board of the insurance business, will replace McInerney’s role.
Catherine Smith will remain as chief executive of U.S. retirement services and the Windsor office will still be the headquarters of that operation, which is part of the insurance business.
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Corrected November 17, 2010 at 10:25AM: yes