* Cost pressures lead to layoffs at iShares EMEA
* Assessing redeployment of staff in line with client needs
By Anjuli Davies
LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, is cutting 15 jobs in the EMEA division of its exchange-traded-funds arm iShares, in a bid to drive down costs.
“We are focusing resources on key priorities while identifying ways to streamline processes and reduce expenses,” a spokeswoman told Reuters on Wednesday.
“This has included shifting some personnel, hiring select key talent and in some instances eliminating positions consistent with client needs,” the spokeswoman added.
BlackRock declined to comment about further job losses in other regions but confirmed that 59 staff based in its San Francisco office were also being made redundant, although not necessarily from its iShares unit.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are index funds listed on an exchange and can be traded just like regular stocks. They aim to replicate index performances at lower costs than actively managed funds.
With over $600 billion of ETF assets under management, iShares is one of the world’s biggest ETF players. The unit had $104.6 billion of European assets under management as at Nov. 2011, reflecting a 33.9 percent share of the market, according to data provided by the company.