Staff remain tight-lipped amid fears hundreds of Dundee jobs could be lost

© DC ThomsonAlliance Trust in Marketgait, Dundee.
Alliance Trust in Marketgait, Dundee.

Staff remained tight-lipped today after reports hundreds of jobs could be at risk at a Dundee investment firm.

Several morning arrivals at the West Marketgait office of Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) refused to speak to the Tele as they made their way to work, after the financial firm that bought over the company in a £40 million deal revealed plans to sell off part of the business.

After around 30 minutes, a staff member from ATS approached our reporter and informed her no member of staff would be speaking about the current situation.

Around 300 staff employed by ATS switched to Interactive Investor (ii) as part of the agreement concluded earlier this month, which also saw Alliance Trust’s “ticker tape” Dundee headquarters change hands.

Workers were called to meetings with senior management yesterday when proposals were outlined to absorb the vast majority of the work  in Dundee into Manchester-based ii by September.

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CEO Richard Wilson also introduced staff to bosses of Embark Pensions as it was announced the firm is in talks to take over the rest of the day-to-day business, largely dealing with pensions and financial advice, in the coming months.

Following the meeting, staff said Mr Wilson was unable to say whether ii would maintain a presence in Dundee following any such sale. A spokeswoman for the firm said it had “met our commitments to Dundee to date and we endeavour to continue to meet them”.

She added that if the deal does go through “we’d expect a very positive outlook for all stakeholders”.

Embark is one of the largest pension providers in the UK with major infrastructure in Manchester and London and staff expressed concern over whether the deal could lead to all jobs at the West Marketgait centre being put at  risk.

One worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “No confirmations of job losses were given but also no confirmation of job security was given.The staff are all feeling very unsure of their future and are fearful of the worst.”

A spokeswoman for ii said: “While we regularly talk to lots of businesses, we wouldn’t comment on anything unless we had something definite to announce.”

An Embark spokesman said: “We can confirm we are in discussions with ATS and a further announcement will be made at the appropriate time.”