What You Need to Know
- Mark Wiedman, who is widely viewed as one of CEO Larry Fink’s most likely successors, made the comments at work events.
- Separately, a former Arab-American Muslim employee says she faced bullying at BlackRock over her faith, including being rebuked for taking prayer breaks.
- The asset manager has hired a law firm to review the issue and other incidents that have surfaced recently.
Mark Wiedman, BlackRock Inc.’s head of international and corporate strategy, apologized Monday for inappropriate remarks at past work events, adding to a broader imbroglio over discrimination at the firm.
BlackRock will enlist law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to review the issue and other incidents to surface in recent weeks, and recommend improvements to internal procedures, Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said in a memo to staff.
The $8.7 trillion asset manager has been hit with several claims including workplace harassment over gender and religion, in addition to Wiedman’s off-color remarks that were detailed in a report Monday by Institutional Investor.
“Incidents we’ve read about today and in recent weeks vary widely, but what they all have in common is that they should not happen at BlackRock,” Fink, 68, wrote in the memo.
Wiedman is widely viewed as one of Fink’s most likely successors.
BlackRock is seeking to balance its public statements about the need to foster an inclusive, diverse culture with claims that it’s not doing enough. This month, the firm held a global town hall to address those issues.
After BlackRock purchased Barclays Global Investors in 2009, Wiedman asked colleagues brash questions during dinners, Institutional Investor reported.