Transamerica to cut 800 jobs nationwide, 20 positions in Little Rock

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 653 views 

A Transamerica Corp. spokesman said Monday (Dec. 5) that the Baltimore, Maryland-based life insurance and retirement services giant will cut some 800 jobs across the U.S. as part of companywide cost-cutting and reorganization program. The ongoing downsizing will include 20 positions in Little Rock at the company’s Transamerica Employee Benefits unit, said company spokesman Greg Tucker.

Transamerica recently undertook “a strategic plan designed to enhance returns in an increasingly competitive environment,” Tucker said. “The first step in this plan was to functionalize the entire organization earlier this year, bringing all resources together as One Transamerica,” said the Transamerica spokesman. “Additional efforts have focused on enhancing returns through operational efficiencies, a rationalized and optimized portfolio, and a highly disciplined approach to expense management.”

According to Tucker, Transamerica made the job cuts after assessing how all of its locations across the U.S. met the company’s core executive needs. Through that process, the company plans to close offices in Los Angeles, Folsom, Calif., and West Chester, Ohio, over the course of 2017.

In addition to those employees impacted by the office closures, Transamerica will also eliminate positions in other locations representing various functional areas across the company, including 20 employees at the company’s Transamerica Employee Benefits (TEB) unit in West Little Rock.

“Limiting our bases of operation and eliminating a number of positions will accelerate our efforts in support of expense reductions and operational efficiencies. Improving efficiencies helps ensure we can invest in the technology and capabilities necessary to constantly adapt as customer needs change,” Tucker said. “These are not easy decisions, and we are keenly aware of the impact these actions will have on our employees and their families.”

Tucker said Transamerica will be offering separation benefits and outplacement services for all eligible employees impacted by the companywide downsizing. He said the recent announcement is not related to Transamerica’s financial strength, citing an A+ credit rating from A.M. Best earlier this year.

“As Transamerica continues to adapt to external challenges, as well as changes in customer needs and demands, we remain steadfastly committed to our core purpose of helping our customers achieve a lifetime of financial security,” Tucker said.

Transamerica’s corporate headquarters are in Baltimore, Maryland, with other major operations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Transamerica is part of the publicly traded Aegon group of companies, The Hague, Netherlands-based financial services giant. Aegon is one of the world’s largest providers of life insurance, pension solutions and asset management products, operating in over 25 global markets with some 28,000 employees. In 2015, Aegon reported consolidated annual revenues of more than $31.2 billion, including $14.7 billion from its U.S. operations.

The Little Rock-based TEB, which formerly operated under the name Transamerica Worksite Marketing, sells voluntary life and supplemental health insurance products to employers at the workplace. According to the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce web site, TEB’s West Little Rock campus employs about 430 workers.