American asset manager BlackRock is planning to reduce the size of its workforce by nearly 500 to ride out choppy markets.

The company, which has $7.96 trillion in assets under management at the end of the third quarter, registered decline in its equity and bond business last year.

The proposed cuts are expected to affect around 2.5% of the company’s staff across the globe, reported Bloomberg.

It marks the first set of layoffs carried out by BlackRock since 2019, leaving the total number of employees at the firm approximately 5% more than the figure a year back.

Until the end of November last year, the company’s headcount stood at around 19,900 people.

In a memo seen by the news agency, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and president Rob Kapito said: “The uncertainty around us makes it more important than ever that we stay ahead of changes in the market and focus on delivering for our clients.”

The company did not provide details about the branches that will be mostly impacted by the cuts.

Fink and Kapito added that they would try to “manage expenses prudently” and make investment in cost-effective manners.

The latest development comes at a time when several Wall Street firms pausing new recruitments and axing jobs in the midst of growing economic concern and the fear of a recession.

American banking giant Goldman Sachs Group has already begun the process of cutting around 3,200 jobs across its global locations, reported BBC. The reductions represent around 6.5% of the bank’s total staff, including employees based in the UK.