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Swiss asset manager GAM has stepped up its cost cutting initiatives after recording outflows as it gets hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The firm has now unveiled plans to make at least CHF65m ($67m) in cost cuts by the end of 2020.

This is more than twice the amount of cost cuts originally targeted by the end of this year.

In February, GAM announced a strategy overhaul that was centred on three pillars – efficiency, transparency and growth.

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By GlobalData

According to that policy, the firm aimed for CHF30m in cost savings by the end of 2020.

The firm’s assets under management (AuM) totalled CHF112.1bn at the end of March 2020, versus CHF132.7bn at the end of 2019.

The fall was said to be due to market slide and foreign exchange movements.

On the positive side, the firm’s Private Labelling recorded net inflows of CHF1.2bn.

However, the performance was offset by clients pulling out CHF6.5bn in Investment Management.

GAM Group CEO Peter Sanderson said: “GAM has not been immune to some of the toughest market conditions the industry has seen, and we saw our assets under management decline as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

“We saw strong investment performance until the end of February, but this was impacted by the market environment during March. I am pleased that we are now seeing early signs of recovery, both in terms of asset flows and also in the investment performance of our funds.”

GAM also aims for a reduction in its headcount to 680 full-time-equivalent by 2020-end from 817 in the previous year.

In March, the firm completed a voluntary redundancy programme.

It is now reviewing fixed compensation levels, mainly in senior non-investment position, to manage costs.

At the same time, the board of directors has agreed to take pay cuts due to the current market turbulence.

GAM further said that it will “continue to align bonuses to company performance, whilst investment teams will continue to benefit from their existing contractual compensation arrangements in relation to their portfolios”.