After the world’s largest asset manager faced sharp declines in stock and bond markets last year, BlackRock Inc. plans to lay off about 500 employees, about 2.5% of its global workforce.

Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink and President Rob Kapito wrote Wednesday, “The uncertainty that surrounds us makes it more important than ever that we anticipate market changes and focus on delivering results for our clients.”

 The company, which will publish fourth-quarter results on Friday, had approximately 19,900 employees at the end of September. It’s the first round of job cuts at New York-based BlackRock since 2019, and it will still leave headcount about 5% higher than a year ago.

Wall Street companies are halting their hiring plans and reducing their workforce in the face of great economic uncertainty and the threat of a recession. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has embarked on one of the biggest downsizing in its history, with plans to cut some 3,200 positions this week, including those in its main trading and banking units.

Rising inflation and rising interest rates have rattled asset managers and markets, with the S&P 500 falling 19% last year. BlackRock shares were down 0.3% at $754.94 as of 12:47 p.m. in New York, trimming its gain since the start of the year to 6.5%. Shares plummeted 23% in 2022.

The company, with $7.96 trillion in assets under management at the end of the third quarter, did not specify which businesses will be most affected by the job cuts. Fink, 70, and Kapito, 64, said in the memo that they would work to “manage expenses prudently” and invest profitably.

Flows into its long-term investment funds increased by $250 billion during the first nine months of last year, and specialists predict they generated an additional $116 billion in the fourth quarter. The executives emphasized the company’s ability to attract money from new clients.

Published by The Tampa Herald, news and information agency.

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