AMERICAN
Express has admitted it is likely there will be high-profile redundancies
following the completion of its takeover of Rosenbluth International.

The
two companies, worth a combined $18.5 billion, are to embark on a 12-month
integration programme headed by Amex global travel services president Charles
Petruccelli and Hal Rosenbluth.

All
3,000 Rosenbluth and 15,000 Amex customer-facing staff have been assured of
their jobs, but positions may go in back office, IT, accounts and senior
management.

Rosenbluth
senior transition advisor Alex Wasilov said: “We will be looking at people who
are in positions that overlap and investigating who are the best people or
which are the best processes and deciding which route to take. But of course,
there will be some redundancies.”

Announcing
the completion of the deal, Amex global corporate services group president Ed
Gilligan said: “This is a new era for the business travel industry. This is not
a takeover in the typical sense, it’s more of a merger and if we work together
we can take travel management to the next level.”

Meanwhile, American Express is predicting an upturn in
business travel fortunes during 2004, fuelled by rising corporate confidence.