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Blackrock to cut 500 jobs

Blackrock is due to slash hundreds of jobs in the opening months of this year.

MoneyMarketing has seen an internal memo from the world’s largest asset manager outlining plans for 500 positions, equivalent to 3 per cent of its workforce, to go in the coming weeks.

The cuts are not focused on any specific region or business line.

Blackrock president Rob Kapito says in the memo: “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.”

Reuters reports that the company says ETFs will be a key product area for that investment, with the focus on high-growth markets, technology and client interaction “while key competitors will be playing defense”.
Blackrock, which now has over $6trn in assets under management, reportedly says in the memo that headcount after the redundancies will remain 4 per cent higher than 12 months previously on the back of investments it has made.

There were also hints in the memo that the asset manager would soon reveal more changes “to bring the firm closer together, to simplify our organization, to make us more nimble, and to create new opportunities to drive growth and serve our clients”.

Four areas Blacrock is planning to invest the freed resources in:

1) solving the investment needs of clients in areas such as retirement, illiquid alternatives, ETFs, and factors

2)  technology

3) the industry’s shift from product selection to portfolio construction

4) expanding distribution capabilities in high-growth markets around the world

The news follows news earlier this week about  intended managerial changes at Blackrock.

In a memo to staff, Blackrock’s chief executive Larry Fink said that former head of index investing Mark Wiedman would become head of international and of corporate strategy, reporting to Fink.

Fink said: “Mark will bring even more executive focus and attention to high-growth markets in EMEA and APAC, working closely with Rachel Lord and Geraldine Buckingham as heads of these regions, respectively. Mark will chair the committee that oversees all of our businesses and operations in these regions. Geraldine and Rachel will continue to report to me, with a joint report to Mark.”

Wiedman’s role will be assumed by Salim Ramji.

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  1. I wonder how many of the 500 will be from the UK?

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