Recruiter Michael Page Cuts Its Own Staff

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Michael Page International, the global recruiting firm with many hedge fund clients, is reducing its own workforce in response to weak market conditions and a broad slowdown in recruiting activity across its client base.

"The Group's cost base and headcount continue to be managed down. Year end headcount is now likely to be around 5,100," Page said Thursday, when announcing that full-year 2008 profit will be "around the bottom" of the range of analysts' forecasts.

The company employed 5,535 people as of July, according to the Financial Times. The headhunting firm, whose shares are publicly traded in London, said two months ago market conditions had become increasingly challenging.

"This loss of confidence is now more marked and has spread rapidly in November to virtually every industry sector and geographic market in which the Group operates," Page said Thursday. "Consequently, the cautionary behaviour of clients and candidates has increased further, significantly reducing activity levels and shortening the Group's earnings visibility."

Michael Page has 149 offices in 25 countries and makes about 80 percent of its revenue from the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the FT says. The financial services sector accounts for only about 20 percent of its business, with the rest coming from placements in accounting, law, marketing, IT and engineering.

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