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BlackRock clamps down on work romances

BlackRock is urging its employees to disclose their involvement in office romances, as well as intimate relationships with anyone associated with the US$7.4 trillion asset manager, in a bid to crack down on conflicts of interest.

BlackRock staff members were recently told to tell their superiors about romantic relationships with anyone connected to the group, not just personal relationships with colleagues.

The new rules extend existing workplace policies to encompass the global fund manager's vast network.

Several news outlets such as the BBC and The Times have reported the new company policies have been introduced.

It also follows two BlackRock executives who were reportedly let go last year for having inappropriate relationships and consequently breaching company policy.

In December 2019, BlackRock's global head of active equities Mark Wiseman left the firm amid reports he failed to disclose an affair with a colleague.

Wiseman joined BlackRock in September 2016 after spending more than a decade at CPP Investments, a Canadian fund manager, where he served as president and chief executive for four of those years.

He now chairs the board of Alberta Investment Management and is a senior adviser at Boston Consulting Group. He joined the organisations in July this year.

Wiseman is married to Marcia Moffat, the chief executive of BlackRock Asset Management Canada.

A few months earlier, global head of human resources Jeff Smith, was removed for having an affair with a subordinate, Bloomberg reported.

Many firms are reckoning with their sexual harassment policies in light of the #MeToo movement. AMP Capital for example, has come under fire amid accusations fired against executive Boe Pahari.

Read more: BlackRockAlberta Investment ManagementBBCBloombergBoston Consulting GroupCPP InvestmentsJeff SmithMarcia MoffatMark Wiseman
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