We learned last night that there is a difference. We were talking to a friend of ours who works at an investment fund that announced a reduction. A headcount reduction. He was relieved.
Here’s why. If you are a senior exec you need to be much, much more worried about when you hear the words “expense reduction” than if you hear “headcount reduction.” Headcount reduction means that literally headcount will go down. (We’re brilliant for pointing out the obvious, we know.) And if you work in a client interfacing business, and you deal with clients, likely the reduction will come from some of the lower level staffers who don’t have much exposure to the outside.
….But if you hear the words “expense reduction” it’s anyone’s guess who is going to get the axe. And, those client facing senior execs are the ones making the big paychecks. And hence the big expenses.