BlackRock to lay off nearly 300 employees -memo

NEW YORK, March 18 Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:43pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc will lay off nearly 300 of its workforce and shift some staff to other locations and areas of its business, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters.

In the memo, BlackRock's President Rob Kapito told employees on Monday that as its business evolves, the mix of employees will also need to change with it.

Last year the New York-based investment fund announced it would reorganize its investment and client-facing businesses in an effort to grow.

The layoffs will be less than 3 percent of the company's total work force. Some of the employees being laid off will leave now, while others will depart over the next few weeks and months, the memo said.

BlackRock established a new firm architecture last year to "increase responsibility and accountability and leverage more of our most talented leaders," Kapito said in the memo.

A BlackRock spokesman told Reuters the departures will not affect executive or operating-committee level employees.

In a statement emailed to Reuters, the spokesman said: "Even with the steps we are taking to reshape the organization, the firm continues to hire in key areas and anticipates having more employees at year-end then we did at the start of the year."

Since the start of 2010, BlackRock has grown by more than 1,500 employees, or nearly 18 percent.

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