Cluttons has embarked on a “significant restructuring” of its business after being bought out of administration by turnaround specialist Rcapital.
A statement from the firm said it that although it was a “strong, profitable” business, the real estate markets it operates in had experienced difficult trading conditions which it believed would continue in the medium term. These difficulties had hit Cluttons’ transactional business particularly hard, the statement said.
As part of the restructuring, it is closing three of its 10 London offices - its residential estate agency branches in Belgravia, Blackheath and Clapham - which were considered to be underperforming. Its GFM international facilities management business will be discontinued and its operations in Nigeria will also cease.
A Cluttons spokesman confirmed 19 people would lose their jobs: 17 from the residential offices being closed and two from the commercial side of the business. However, nine new jobs would be created and no-one at partner level or above would be made redundant.
However, senior industry sources suggested that the Middle East arm was a desirable part of the business which may receive offers from other consultancies. One name mentioned was Savills.
A Cluttons spokesman insisted: “Our long-established and successful operations in the Middle East will be unaffected by this restructuring and will remain a key part of business and its growth strategy going forward.”
In the statement, Cluttons added that it was “burdened by a legacy defined benefit pension scheme which has become unsupportable in the long term” and that its liabilities under the pension scheme would now be transferred to the Pension Protection Fund.
Cluttons is headed up by senior partner Steven Morgan, who took up the role in November after leading its Middle East branch for three years, as well as managing partner James Gray. The company celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2015.
Rcapital said it would “support Cluttons as it adapts to the changing international real estate market” and that the restructuring would “secure jobs, preserve the company’s historic brand name and protect the interests of its employees going forward”.
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