BlackRock cutting 500 employees from global workforce

The 3% reduction will be the firm's largest cut in headcount since 2016

Jan 10, 2019 @ 12:48 pm

By Bloomberg News

BlackRock Inc. is cutting 3% of its global workforce, the largest reduction in its headcount since 2016.

The company will dismiss about 500 employees in the weeks ahead, according to an internal memo viewed by Bloomberg News. The memo didn't specify which businesses will be most affected.

Asset managers are under pressure as volatility roils markets and investors have piled into funds with low fees. The industry is also deploying technology across its businesses to reduce costs. State Street Corp., the giant custody bank and asset manager, trimmed its senior management ranks by 15% starting Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. AQR Capital Management, the quant manager, is also cutting jobs after a dismal performance in 2018.

"Market uncertainty is growing, investor preferences are evolving and the ecosystem in which we operate is becoming increasingly complex," Rob Kapito, BlackRock's president, said in the memo.

(More: BlackRock takes equity stake in Envestnet)

The firm is seeking to "move decisively to refocus our resources where the impact will be greatest" and to operate more efficiently, Mr. Kapito wrote. BlackRock had about 14,900 employees as of September.

On Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink promoted Mark Wiedman, the head of the firm's powerhouse exchange-traded funds business, to a new global strategy role.

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