BlackRock plans to lay off 500 workers after last year’s market downturn

BlackRock plans to lay off 500 workers after last year’s market downturn

BlackRock ( BLK ), the world’s largest asset manager, will lay off about 500 employees — or roughly 3% of its workforce — according to an internal email seen by Yahoo Finance.

The investment giant joins a growing number of Wall Street firms cutting their workforce after last year’s stock market plunge and as Corporate America ramps up hiring freezes and job cuts.

“This week, after significant headcount growth in recent years, we are making some changes to the size and shape of our workforce,” CEO Larry Fink and BlackRock President Rob Kapito said in a memo sent to staff Wednesday. “As a result of these steps, approximately 500 (or less than 3%) of our colleagues will leave BlackRock as we reallocate resources to our most critical growth opportunities.”

BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 19, 2022. REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado

BlackRock is growing its workforce by approximately 8% in 2022 and by 22% over the past three years, Fink and Kapito said in their message. Following the layoffs, headcount at the asset manager will remain 5% higher than a year ago.

The firm did not immediately say in which of its departments the job cuts will take place. BlackRock employed 19,900 people worldwide in 30 countries as of Sept. 30, according to its latest quarterly filing.

BlackRock has roughly $8 trillion in assets under management, up from a peak of $10 trillion in early 2022.

“Both the equity and fixed income markets are down significantly in 2022, and we and our clients are continuing to struggle with market volatility and uncertainty,” the email said.

Last year, global stocks and bonds ended their worst year since the financial crisis in 2008, as central banks rushed to tame historic inflation with their most aggressive period of interest rate hikes in decades and as the war in Ukraine hit financial markets.

The benchmark S&P 500 fell 19.4% in 2022, while the 10-year Treasury yield rose from around 1.5% at the start of 2022 to settle at 3.88% on the year’s final trading day.

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“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 customers,” said the message from Fink and Kapito.

BlackRock’s announcement comes as investment bank Goldman Sachs prepares to cut thousands of jobs this week. Goldman is expected to cut up to 3,200 jobs across the bank, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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