TIAA-CREF cuts 158 workers in Charlotte

Pension giant TIAA-CREF this week laid off 158 employees at its Charlotte office, a spokeswoman said Friday.

The cuts amount to about 6 percent of the more than 2,800 employees at the University-area campus, which opened in 2001. TIAA-CREF made the move to improve efficiency and control costs, spokeswoman Jennifer Compton said.

Charlotte is the largest employee site for the New York-based provider of retirement services for customers in academic, medical, cultural and research fields. “We continue to view Charlotte as an important location for TIAA-CREF,” Compton said.

TIAA-CREF, which stands for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund, has about 7,800 employees nationwide. It also has eliminated 70 jobs at its Denver location, which has a workforce of more than 2,000, Compton said.

The cutbacks are the latest to hit the financial services industry amid an economic downturn. Charlotte's Bank of America Corp. and Wachovia Corp. have both laid off workers in recent months.

TIAA-CREF's reductions come a little more than three months after the arrival of new chief executive Roger Ferguson, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.