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T. Rowe Price Moves on With Digitization, Shuts Tampa Center

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In this era of digitization, T. Rowe Price Group (TROW - Free Report) plans to shut down its Operations Center in Tampa, FL, instead of renewing the lease. The center will be merged with the other two sites that provide service to individual investors and retirement plan participants. Notably, the company-owned properties are situated in Owings Mills, MD, and Colorado Springs, CO.

The decision to shut down the center was taken after witnessing success in the firm’s digitalization efforts and as a response to its customers’ preference to involve digitally.

The center, which is expected to close in June 2019, presently has 400 employees. Most of them work in phone support and others in client service roles. Out of which, 30 associates, engaged with clients, will continue to be in the area and work remotely. Other 220 employees will be relocated to the company’s Maryland and Colorado offices. The company expects not to replace about 150 positions.

William J. Stromberg, president and CEO of T. Rowe Price informed that it was a difficult decision to make because of its impact on the employees. But, he feels that the employees have some time to plan the transition as the news has been shared in advance.

Stromberg further added, “While our balance sheet has never been stronger and demand for our approach to active management remains robust, we also need to thoughtfully manage our resources in an increasingly competitive environment. Enhancing our operational efficiency so that we can continue investing in our strategic priorities will enable us to further improve the client experience and grow the business for years to come."

We believe, driven by the digitalization efforts, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock have gained 20.4% in the last six months, outperforming 2.7% decline recorded by the industry.

Stocks to Consider

A few better-ranked stocks in the same space are Lazard Ltd (LAZ - Free Report) , Schroders plc (SHNWF - Free Report) and Ashmore Group PLC’s (AJMPF - Free Report) . All the stocks carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Lazard’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings has moved up 9% over the last 60 days. In a year’s time, the company’s shares have gained 21.4%.

Schroders’ Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2018 earnings has inched up 1% in the past 60 days. Shares of the company have increased 7.7% in a year's time on NYSE.

Ashmore Group’s current fiscal's earnings estimates have remained unchanged over the last 60 days. In a year’s time, the stock has rallied 2.6% on NYSE.

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