May 14, 2013

Ex-BlackRock Fund Manager Arrested for Insider Trading

Mark Lyttleton was the firm’s longest serving British-based manager

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BlackRock revealed on Tuesday that one of its former employees was recently arrested by London police on charges of insider trading.

BlackRock did not name the individual, but Reuters reports it was Mark Lyttleton, who the news service notes was one of the firm's longest serving British-based fund managers. Lyttleton left the company in March and was arrested in April.

Reuters said Lyttleton was one of the people to whom Britain's Financial Conduct Authority referred on May 3, when it said it had arrested and questioned a man and a woman on April 30 in West London.

A second source with knowledge of the matter said the woman who was arrested was Lyttleton's wife, but did not give her name.

"The FCA has informed us that the allegations relate to actions carried out for personal gain, while off our premises, and that neither BlackRock, nor any other employee, is under investigation," BlackRock said in a statement on Tuesday. "There is no suggestion that there has been any impact to any of BlackRock's clients."

The arrest is the latest in a string of high-profile apprehensions by the Financial Conduct Authority this year as part of a commitment to crack down harder on insider trading and financial crime.

The news service notes BlackRock announced in March Lyttleton would leave the firm at the end of April, although he actually relinquished his fund management responsibilities in March and has not worked at the firm since March 28.

Lyttleton, most recently manager of BlackRock's UK Dynamic and UK Absolute Alpha funds, traces his career at the firm back more than 20 years. BlackRock said on Tuesday it was continuing to help the authorities with their investigations.

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Read Longevity Is Killing Us: BlackRock’s Larry Fink on AdvisorOne.

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