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 trimming their headcount after last year’s market rout and as Corporate America ramps up hiring freezes and job cuts.
“This week, after meaningful 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 on Wednesday. “As a result of these steps, about 500 (or less than 3%) of our colleagues will be leaving BlackRock as we reallocate resources to our most critical growth opportunities.”
BlackRock grew its workforce by roughly 8% in 2022 and by 22% across the past three years, Fink and Kapito said in their message. After the departures, headcount at the asset manager will remain 5% higher than one year ago.
The firm did not immediately indicate in which of its departments job cuts would occur. BlackRock employed 19,900 people globally across 30 countries as of Sept. 30, according to its latest quarterly filing.
BlackRock has roughly $8 trillion in assets under management, down from a peak of $10 trillion at the beginning of 2022.
“Both equity and fixed income markets are down significantly in 2022, and we and our clients are continuing to contend with market volatility and uncertainty,” the email said.
Last year, global stocks and bonds closed out their worst year since the financial crisis in 2008 as central bank rushed to tame historic inflation with their most aggressive bout of interest rate hikes in decades and as war in Ukraine battered financial markets.
The benchmark S&P 500 tumbled 19.4% in 2022, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose from around 1.5% at the beginning of 2022 to settle at 3.88% on the last trading day of the year.
“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 message from Fink and Kapito said.
BlackRock’s announcement comes as investment bank Goldman Sachs prepares to cut thousands of jobs this week. Goldman is expected to axe up to 3,200 jobs across the bank, according to a source familiar with the matter.