Prudential-Bache International vice-president James Kelso yesterday had the job of calling in 21 Hong Kong employees, one at a time, to give them their marching orders. 'Frankly, most people knew it was happening,' Mr Kelso said yesterday. The job losses came in the institutional brokerage arm, which was started three years ago. The private banking arm, which has been around several decades and employs about 200 in the region, was untouched. Altogether 43 jobs were lost, including cuts in Singapore, Taipei, New York and London. In Hong Kong, 10 institutional sales and support employees and 11 from research were laid off. Some on the institutional research side will apparently be absorbed into the retail business. 'We're focusing the research effort to support advisory client business. That's a different focus. Some people will stay and some will go,' Mr Kelso said. The corporate finance division was not affected. The company said the move 'follows a record year for Prudential-Bache's private-client securities business in Asia and reflects the Prudential Insurance Co of America's overall global strategy to position its insurance, investments and securities operations as a leader in building and protecting wealth'.