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January 11, 2019

BlackRock to trim headcount by 500

American asset manager BlackRock is set to lay off 500 jobs globally, marking its largest downsizing exercise since 2016.

The jobs to be axed constitute 3% of the asset manager’s global workforce.

The firm did not disclose details on the specific units or geographies affected by the move, which will take place in the coming weeks.

In a memo, BlackRock president Rob Kapito said: “We are always looking for ways to improve how we operate, to simplify our processes and structures, to prudently manage expenses, and to accelerate growth.

“The changes we are making now will help us continue to invest in our most important strategic growth opportunities for the future.”

At the same time, the firm revealed that its headcount will be 4% higher than last year even after the job cuts.

Plans are also on to invest in high-growth markets and technology as well as prioritise key products such as ETFs, the firm said in the memo.

The latest announcement comes close on the heels of the appointment of Mark Wiedman as the head of international and corporate strategy at BlackRock.

Wiedman previously led the global ETF and index fund businesses at BlackRock.

The firm announced plans to make several more leadership changes.

“With these changes, and others we’ll make later this year, our aim is to bring the firm closer together, to simplify our organisation, to make us more nimble, and to create new opportunities to drive growth and serve our clients,” the memo said.

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