T. Rowe Price to lay off 150 in shuttering of Tampa operations center

Investors now can do many transactions via laptop or cellphone

May 31, 2018 @ 4:20 pm

By John Waggoner

In a move that reflects investors' increasing desire to go digital — and their reliance on advisers — T. Rowe Price said Thursday that it is closing its Tampa, Fla., operations center in June 2019 and laying off about 150 workers.

The Baltimore-based fund giant said that many of the 400 workers at the operations center will be reassigned to the company's campuses in Owings Mills, Md., and Colorado Springs, Colo., where the company continues to hire. About 30 associates with assigned client relationships will remain in Tampa, working remotely.

"While our balance sheet has never been stronger and demand for our approach to active management remains robust, we also need to thoughtfully manage our resources in an increasingly competitive environment," T. Rowe Price CEO William Stromberg said in a statement. "Enhancing our operational efficiency so that we can continue investing in our strategic priorities will enable us to further improve the client experience and grow the business for years to come."

T. Rowe's move is part of a larger trend in how mutual fund companies — and businesses generally — interact with customers, said Catherine Seifert, an equity analyst at CFRA.

"Even through T. Rowe Price is producing results at the upper end of its peer group, there are still cost pressures, and operating a call center remains expensive," she said. "And the telephone may not be the preferred touch point of choice. It's an industry trend — more digital touchpoints and fewer human touchpoints."

While fund companies once did business exclusively by mail and telephone, investors now can do many transactions via laptop or cell phone.

And many investors now reach T. Rowe Price though an adviser, which means that the company may not have to answer a customer's questions directly, Ms. Seifert said.

T. Rowe Price spokesman Brian Lewbart, however, noted that the company's individual investor business is growing as well as its adviser business.

"It's not an either/or proposition," he said.

"I don't think it's unique to T. Rowe Price or our industry," Mr. Lewbart added. "It's how many people engage with companies today."

Indeed, the shift to digital interaction is part of a trend throughout business. Just ask Amazon.

T. Rowe Price has $1.02 trillion in assets globally and more than 6,800 employees worldwide.


What do you think?

View comments

Most watched


Young advisers envision a radically different business in five years

Fintech and sustainable investing are two factors being watched closely by some of the 2019 class of InvestmentNews' 40 Under 40.


Young professionals see lots of opportunity to reinvent the advice experience

Members of the 2019 InvestmentNews class of 40 Under 40 have strategies to overcome the challenges of being young in a mature industry.

Latest news & opinion

New Jersey fiduciary rule: Pressure leads to public hearing, comment deadline extension

Industry push results in chance to air grievances on July 17 and another month to present objections.

InvestmentNews' 2019 class of 40 Under 40

Our 40 Under 40 project, now in its sixth year, highlights young talent in the financial advice industry. These individuals illustrate the tremendous potential of those coming up in the profession. These stories will surprise, entertain, educate and inspire.

Galvin to propose fiduciary rule for Massachusetts brokers

The secretary of the commonwealth is proposing a fiduciary standard in response to an SEC investment-advice rule he views as too weak.

Summer reading recommendations from financial advisers

Here are some books that will keep you informed and entertained during summer's downtime

4 strategies for Roth conversions

There's never been a better time to do a Roth conversion, and here are several ways to go about it.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print