BlackRock Inc., the largest publicly traded U.S. asset manager, is cutting jobs for the first time in its 20-year history.

Dismissal notices are being issued this week, the New York company said in a memo Tuesday. Some employees in BlackRock's alternative investment division were told Tuesday that their jobs were being eliminated, a person familiar with the matter said. Bobbie Collins, a BlackRock spokeswoman, said details would not be made public until next year. The number of people being let go was not disclosed.

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