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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Two Big Asset Managers Expand Time Off Policies

News summary by MFWire's editors

A pair of asset management titans are updating their employee benefits policies, specifically time off.

This week State Street Corporation (parent of SSgA, the original and now third-biggest ETF shop) unveiled several enhancements to its "US family support policies" for employees who have kids by surrogate, who adopt, or who go through fertility treatments. New primary caregivers to kids born via surrogacy will be offered four weeks of paid leave, new parents are eligible to be reimbursed for up to $20,000 per child in adoption expenses, and prospective parents are eligible to be reimbursed for up to $20,000 (beyond the firm's medical plan coverage) in fertility expenses like surrogacy.

The adoption expenses reimbursement is an increase from the $5,000 State Street previously offered, while the surrogacy-related leave and the fertility expenses reimbursement are both new. Kathy Horgan, chief human resources and corporate citizenship officer at State Street, put the updates into the context of "continuing what the FMLA [Family and Medical Leave Act] started" 25 years ago.

"The changes announced today are a direct reflection of employee input and our commitment to offering inclusive family support benefits," Horgan stated.

Meanwhile, last month BlackRock, the largest asset manager and largest ETF shop, started rolling out unlimited time off last month, Bloomberg reported. The publication describes the move as New York City-based Blackrock "taking a page from Silicon Valley."

"We are obviously a technology company as well as an asset management company," Jeff Smith, head of human resources at BlackRock, told Bloomberg. "When we are competing in places like Silicon Valley, that is very important. It sends a signal."

"We are not flexible about performance," Smith added. "We are flexible about time off, casual dress and some of the things that will lead to more energy and better performance." 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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