NEW YORK - Raymond James Financial Inc. is planning to lay off 218 employees as part of its impending merger with Morgan Keegan & Co. and MK Holding Inc.

“In the course of combining Raymond James and Morgan Keegan, we have identified 218 redundant positions that are being eliminated at the close of the merger, mainly in the equity capital markets and fixed income groups,” Steve Hollister, Raymond James public relations manager, wrote in an e-mail.

Raymond James plans to close the merger Monday.

Of the roughly 1,000 associates located in Memphis, Tenn., 68 are losing their jobs, Hollister wrote. Of the approximately 3,100 employees in St. Petersburg, Fla., 16 are being cut. The remainder of those being let go are spread among 31 cities nationwide.

Memphis has been the headquarters for Morgan Keegan. St. Petersburg is the headquarters for Raymond James.

Hollister declined to specify how many of those who were cut were involved with municipal bonds.

When asked if he anticipated more layoffs in the next six months, Hollister responded: “As integration moves forward, we will continue to work through a deliberate process to ensure we maintain the highest client service levels. In cases where additional redundancies are identified, each employee will be similarly treated fairly. For those whose skills may be transferable to other jobs within the combined company, we will assist with finding matches and encourage associates to apply for open positions. Severance packages will recognize and reward tenure and we have engaged an outside firm to provide career transition guidance.”

In 2011 Morgan Keegan was the 9th largest municipal underwriter and Raymond James was the 15th largest.

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