Friday, January 11, 2019

BlackRock is laying off 500 employees worldwide - Business Insider

BlackRock is laying off about 500 employees globally in what appears to be its biggest round of cuts yet, the firm said in a Thursday memo to employees obtained by Business Insider.

The world's largest asset manager will cut about 3% of its 15,000-person workforce, touching every region, seniority level, and business line. With the reductions, BlackRock's headcount is still 4% higher than a year ago, the memo said. The firm has been increasing its headcount between 6% and 7% annually.

"The changes we are making now will help us continue to invest in our most important strategic growth opportunities for the future," Rob Kapito, the firm's president, wrote in the memo. "Some businesses will be more impacted than others as we reallocate resources to our most critical growth opportunities."

See more: Morgan Stanley is cutting dozens of jobs across sales and trading right before year-end bonuses

The $6.4 trillion asset manager last significantly reduced staff in 2016, trimming about 400 jobs — then a record cut. BlackRock has positioned both rounds of reductions as streamlining the business.

The latest cycle sees BlackRock using the staff savings to invest in four areas: investments, including retirement, illiquid alternatives, exchange-traded funds, and factors; technology; portfolio construction; and international distribution, according to the memo.

On Wednesday, BlackRock signaled a focus on many of the same areas with a memo promoting Mark Wiedman, who led the firm's hot ETF platform, to head of international and of corporate strategy.

BlackRock's cuts come a day after $2.8 trillion asset manager State Street began laying off about 15% of senior management.

The firms are not alone in plans to cut employees this quarter, Business Insider reported in November.

"Many firms are already planning for reductions during the first quarter of 2019 through both attrition and terminations," said Francine McKenzie, managing director at consultancy Johnson Associates.



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