As of the end of their respective fiscal years 2017, 12 of the pure-play asset managers employed more than 90,000 people, up about 7% from 2016 and 17% from 2013. Over the five-year period, the group reduced annual headcount once; in 2016 total employees fell 1.4%. That year followed a volatile 2015 in which the broad U.S stock market barely finished in the black after accounting for dividends.
On Thursday, BlackRock announced the firm would be reducing its headcount by 500, or a 3.5% decline over its 2017 headcount. 2018 headcount numbers will not be available until annual reports are released later into 2019.