March 22, 2011 – Officials with the Boston-based investment bank giant cited the company’s now-shrunken workforce as a reason to consolidate its New England locations and ship nearly 1,100 jobs from MetroWest out of state.
The company’s three locations outside of Marlborough – in Smithfield, R.I., Merrimack, N.H., and Boston – each have at least three times as many employees, according to Vincent Loporchio, a spokesperson for the company.
There were “a number of factors” the company considered when deciding to close the Marlborough campus, he said, which the company announced it would do last week. The campus is expected to close by the end of the next year.
Overall, the company’s global workforce has declined from about 44,000 at the end of 2008 to about 37,600 today.
The Marlborough campus, which has about 1,100 jobs, is significantly smaller than the Rhode Island location, which has 2,700 workers, and the New Hampshire campus which has about 4,600 workers, he said.
“We felt it would be strategically the best decision for our company” to consolidate and move the Marlborough jobs to the three other sites, he said.
Massachusetts, mostly through the Boston office, still represents the company’s largest single employee count of any state with more than 8,000 workers.
Despite news that jobs would be moving out of Marlborough, Loporchio said the campus has served the company well, with “many positive attributes,” such as its central location, access to a talented workforce and building infrastructures already in place.
“Marlborough’s been a good location for us,” he said.
Moving forward, at least one person in the real estate community does not see the move as doomsday.
Christopher Tosti, executive vice president and partner with the Boston-based real estate firm CD Richard Ellis, said it’s been rumored in the market for months that Fidelity would be moving.
“People ought to take a deep breath and realize that while these things take time – sometimes not months but years – but that eventually buildings get leased up, sold or occupied,” he said.
It’s not good news, Tosti admits, but said it’s not the end of the world either.
Littleton had a large vacant building for years that IBM turned into one of its largest research sites in the country.
“As dire as this seems, there have been plenty of big empty spaces that have been vacated before,” Tosti said. “They will get rented eventually – they all do – and this one will too.”