Fitch London is axing almost a quarter of its workforce this week, the culmination of a refocusing on core business by WPP Group-owned Fitch Worldwide.
Nineteen of its 84 employees have been made redundant – 23 per cent of the London office. The departures are not at the senior level and no further cuts are planned, says Fitch Worldwide chairman and chief executive Rodney Fitch.
‘They are in what I call non-core departments,’ he says, identifying these areas as corporate literature, interactive design and planning, or the ‘residue’ of Fitch bolt-ons PSD Associates and Bamber Forsyth.
‘If you look at our network, there are parts of our business, for historical or growth reasons, which are not core Fitch heartlands. [The redundancies are] part of a wider restructuring, which attempts to return Fitch, both in the UK and overseas, to its heritage.’
According to Fitch, the business will by the end of June concentrate on four key disciplines: retailing, product design, brand communications, and live events and hospitality.
He cites major projects, including the revamp of Aquascutum’s London flagship store, the interior design of the Boeing 7E7 aircraft, brand communications work with Microsoft and product development with Nokia, as examples.
In line with the restructuring, Fitch Worldwide is hiring people in all four of these ‘key areas’.
‘We’re beefing up our office in China and recruiting senior creatives on the US west coast and Singapore,’ says Fitch. He says the overhaul of the consultancy has also involved four redundancies in San Francisco.