TRAVELERS PLANS TO TRIM MORE CORPORATE STAFFERS

TRAVELERS PLANS TO TRIM MORE CORPORATE STAFFERS

The Travelers Corp. announced last week it will cut 300 corporate staffers, primarily in Hartford, Conn., and still more staff cuts are expected in light of the upcoming acquisition of Travelers by Primerica Corp., industry analysts said.

The newest cuts are part of Travelers' continuing effort to cut expenses and become more efficient. They bring to 4,000 the total number of jobs Travelers has cut thus far as part of a downsizing effort.The cuts announced last week will come from a variety of corporate units including finance, communications, and human resources. Top management will not be affected.

Travelers likely will undertake additional corporate restructuring as a result of its upcoming acquisition. The multi-line insurer agreed in September to be acquired by Primerica Corp. in a $4.2 billion deal that is expected to be completed by year-end. The combined company will be called The Travelers.

''You don't need two corporate entities when it is becoming one company, said Mike Blumstein, an analyst with Morgan Stanley & Co.

"Primerica is going to run the show."

Carol Manning, vice president and senior research analyst with Prudential Securities Inc. of New York, said she expected further cuts to occur in property and casualty units because both companies run P/C businesses.

"I anticipate that there will be a redirection of the insurance operations after the merger," Ms. Manning

said. "Sande Weill (Primerica's chairman) doesn't like waste and duplication. Some of the cuts will come out of Travelers and some I'm sure will come from existing Primerica insurance operations."

She predicted some of the extra cuts will come from personal lines of insurance, such as homeowners and auto coverage.

In a related move, Primerica last week announced a reorganization of senior management to prepare for its acquisition of Travelers.

James Dimon, Primerica's president and chief financial officer, was named to the new post of chief operating officer. He will hold all those posts when the merger is completed.

In addition, the new company will create an office of the chairman, which will consist of four top-tier executives who will report to Sanford I. Weill, Primerica's chairman and chief executive officer.

Members of the new office will include Mr. Dimon, Robert I. Lipp and Frank G. Zarb, both vice chairmen and group chief executives at Primerica, and Robert F. Greenhill, chairman and chief executive officer of Smith Barney Shearson, Primerica's securities brokerage business.