BlackRock to drop 500 staff

About 500 BlackRock staff will be laid off in the coming weeks, the investment house has confirmed.

In an internal memo to staff, BlackRock president Rob Kapito said growing market uncertainty and evolving investor preferences are driving the firm's decision to cull its global workforce by 3%.

In the memo, Kapito said several years of meaningful headcount growth has led to changes being made this week around the size and shape of the company's workforce.

Despite the changes, BlackRock's headcount will still be 4% higher than it was 12 months ago, according to the memo.

"Everything we are doing reflects our focus on the long term. 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," Kapito said.

"We have always differentiated ourselves from the broader industry by recognising strategic trends early and pivoting quickly."

The changes will assist the fund manager in continuing to invest in its most important strategic growth opportunities for the future, he added.

"While key competitors will be playing defence, BlackRock is continuing to invest in the critical strategic initiatives that will fuel our growth in the years ahead. Even in volatile markets and with significant industry headwinds, we can find opportunities for growth," Kapito said.

He then urged all staff to embrace the changes.

"We believe these changes allow us to be more nimble and to create more opportunity for people to stretch their responsibilities and drive their careers," Kapito said.

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