BlackRock Slashes Jobs for First Time Since 2019

January 12, 2023

BlackRock Inc., whose subsidiary iShares is the largest issuer of exchange-traded funds in the world, is planning to let go of 500 employees after a turbulent market year driven by surging inflation and soaring interest rates. 

The layoffs will impact less than 3% of the asset manager’s global workforce and will be the first round of job cuts to be initiated by the firm since 2019, a BlackRock spokesperson confirmed to ETF.com.  

The firm is poised to report its 4Q earnings on Friday. 

“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,” said BlackRock’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink and President Rob Kapito in an internal staff memo that was circulated Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg. In the same document, they pledged to “manage expenses prudently.” 

BlackRock’s job cuts are the latest in a series of layoffs by tech and Wall Street firms amid tough market conditions, which has caused companies to reevaluate expenses and cut back on costs. The announcement follows similar moves by asset managers such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which said it plans to cut 3,200 jobs to rein in costs earlier this week, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Though the New York-based asset manager increased its headcount by almost 22% over the course of the past three years, the asset manager said it would pause discretionary hiring in October when it reported a decline in its third-quarter earnings and profits. 

Economic turbulence aside, the firm—which manages almost $8 trillion in global assets—faced mounting criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike over its sustainable investing strategy, particularly its stance on incorporating environment, social and governance criteria. 

The firm’s shares dropped by 0.15% to $754.77 following news of its proposed job cuts Wednesday, according to data from Yahoo Finance. 

 

Contact Zoya Mirza at [email protected] 

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