BlackRock faces a ban on collecting about $37 million in fees from Ohio public-sector clients after discovering that one of its top executives ran afoul of pay-to-play rules during last year’s presidential campaign.
Bloomberg News reports that Mark Wiedman, the head of BlackRock’s iShares unit, donated $2,700 to John Kasich in January 2016 during a fundraiser for the Ohio governor’s campaign to become the Republican presidential nominee, according to a regulatory filing.
Wiedman inadvertently triggered anti-corruption measures that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted in 2010 after scandals involving money manager contributions to state officials, the firm said. The pay-to-play rules affected the 2016 presidential campaign because five sitting governors participated, including Mike Pence of Indiana, Donald Trump’s running mate in the general election.
The SEC permits firms to seek a waiver from the two-year ban if they can show they had the necessary compliance program in place when the violation occurred and that any donation was inadvertent and not part of an effort to win business from a state or local government entity. New York-based BlackRock filed such a request in May, according to a copy of the document available on the SEC website.
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