SEC says former BlackRock manager failed to disclose conflict of interest with movie studio

A former BlackRock portfolio manager has $250,000 to settle claims that he failed to disclose that a film company in which one of his asset management firms invested helped his daughter land a small acting role. paid the dollar.

The Securities and Exchange Commission claimed that while working for the world’s largest money manager, Randy Robertson asked: black rock Client Avilon Pictures, which has distributed films featuring stars such as Keanu Reeves and Anne Hathaway, said it wanted to “help her daughter’s career.”

Aviron received as much as $75 million from BlackRock’s Multi-Sector Income Trust (BIT) fund managed by Robertson and others, the SEC said, making it one of the fund’s single largest investments. .

The company, whose founder William Sadorea was convicted last year of fraud related to its coronavirus relief program, said: [Robertson’s daughter] There are potential opportunities in the film industry,” the regulator added.

In 2014, Robertson emailed his daughter’s resume and headshot to a broker between the now-defunct Aviron and BlackRock.[a]Any help would be appreciated.” SEC Said. The manager has since discussed her daughter’s career with Sadorea several times.

According to the SEC order, Sadorea offered to send Robertson’s daughter’s script, claiming that he “had reasonable influence over the producers and their casting choices.” The regulator claimed it offered to fly her to the Cannes Film Festival.

Robertson’s daughter met with Avilon executives in August 2018, who later emailed BlackRock’s manager stating that they “could offer her a small talk role” in the film, adding: We had her set up with some casting agents in LA.” she said.

Lawyers for Robertson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and the 62-year-old has not admitted wrongdoing. BlackRock declined to comment on his SEC settlement.

“Investment professionals should proactively report conflicts of interest that may arise with companies in which they invest their clients’ funds. including,” said Andrew Dean, co-chief of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, which oversees assets. managing section.

“Investors must be able to recognize that the advice they receive is free of non-public conflicts of interest, whether the conflicts are financial or not.”

BlackRock fired Robertson in February 2020. The asset manager sued his Aviron, saying in a statement in 2020 that it “has been able to fully recover the amount lent to Aviron and realize a rate of return equal to or greater than that yield.” . Earnings on other assets in BIT’s investment portfolio during the relevant investment period.

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