Blackrock to freeze global hiring for 'a few weeks' amid coronavirus: source

LONDON (Reuters) – Blackrock (BLK.N), the world’s largest asset manager, will freeze global hiring for “a few weeks” amid the coronavirus pandemic, a source familiar with the situation said on condition of anonymity.

As the coronavirus has swept across the globe, killing thousands of people, companies have cut their investment plans, withdrawn financial outlooks and laid off employees in response to the economic impact.

Blackrock had $7.4 trillion of assets under management as of December 2019, making it the world’s biggest investment manager.Its hiring freeze underlines how painful the impact of the global market selloff and the coronavirus will be for the real economy.

A spokesman said the firm has paused making new offers. The source said plans made as recently as two weeks ago needed to be reviewed as Blackrock adjusts to a new way of doing business.

The total number of employees at the U.S.-headquartered firm stood at 16,200 in more than 30 countries with approximately 50% of those employees outside the United States, according to a U.S. regulatory filing.

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