BlackRock agrees to end worldwide analyst surveys

Hand Shake

BlackRock, the asset manager, agreed to end its analyst survey program worldwide, as part of an agreement reached Wednesday with the New York Attorney General's office.

Reuters reports that the agreement stems from an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into the early release of Wall Street analyst sentiment, which can move markets.

BlackRock agreed to pay $400,000 for the cost of the investigation, but no fine or penalty, and to cooperate in any investigation related to the probe.

'BlackRock deserves credit for recognizing the need for reform when it comes to the dissemination of information that can move markets,' Schneiderman said in a statement. He called the agreement 'a major step forward in restoring fairness in our financial markets and ensuring a level playing field for all investors'.

Although BlackRock's position is that the purpose of the survey program was to quantify the analysts' publicly available insights, Schneiderman found evidence that the program's design allowed it to capture 'non-public analyst sentiment that could be used to trade ahead of the market reaction to upcoming analyst reports', according to the agreement.

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BlackRock agrees with NY attorney general to end analyst surveys

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