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Money Blackrock: EU mediator denounces “risk of conflict of interest” on contract

14:35  25 november  2020
14:35  25 november  2020 Source:   elle.fr

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Giant money manager BlackRock Inc. agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission million to settle claims that it failed to tell clients about a conflict between a fund manager’s private holdings and portfolios he supervised for BlackRock clients.

This leaves some BlackRock rivals muttering about conflicts of interest — and non-American regulators caustically pointing out that since 2008 Mr Fink has been adept in persuading US regulators to refrain from sweeping regulatory reforms on asset managers, such as his. Fair enough.

Blackrock : la médiatrice de l’UE dénonce “un risque de conflit d’intérêts” sur un contrat © Daniel Acker / Bloomberg via Getty Images Blackrock: EU mediator denounces “risk of conflict of interest ”On an contract While the European Commission has awarded a contract to the giant BlackRock to carry out a study on sustainable finance, the European Union mediator is alarmed by the abnormally low price offered by the American group. Blackrock is said to have an interest in the development of future EU regulations "which will have a direct impact on itself and its customers," she said.

The European Union mediator is moved by a contract between the American asset management giant BlackRock and Brussels. By choosing BlackRock Investment Management, a subsidiary of the investment fund, to carry out a study on the taking into account of social and environmental factors in banking supervision, the European executive "should have shown much more rigor" , denounced Emily O'Reilly. "There are legitimate concerns around the risk of conflicts of interest (...), the company clearly having an interest in the development of future EU regulations which will have a direct impact for itself and its customers", underlines she in her decision consulted by AFP.

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A conflict of interest is when a party has competing interests or loyalties because of their duties to more than one person or organization. A conflict of interest involves a person or entity that has two relationships competing with each other for the person's loyalty.

Conflicts of interest (COIs) can arise for employees at all levels of seniority and in every area of work in the Department. They are an inevitable fact of Particular business groups in the Department may identify other sources of advice on managing COI risks inherent to certain roles or functions such as

BlackRock, a company managing some 7.3 trillion dollars and which is notably a shareholder in oil giants, intends to become a leader in sustainable and responsible investments. By offering "an offer half the price of the maximum estimated value", BlackRock "maximized its chances of hitting the contract. And winning it could allow it to get an idea (of future regulations) and to exert an influence on a segment. booming investment, ”she observes.

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Conflict of interest is defined as “a situation in which a public official has a private or other interest which is such as to influence, or appear to influence Public procurement in EU member states - The regulation of contract below the EU thresholds and in areas not covered by the detailed rules of the

Conflicts of interest can also have an impact on the development of clinical practice guidelines, for example, if financial interests on the part of companies sponsoring guideline development or individuals contributing to guideline development influence judgements regarding clinical best practice

>> Also read - Pension reform: Is Macron giving the American fund BlackRock a gift?

BlackRock, a company managing some 7.3 trillion dollars and which is notably a shareholder in oil giants, intends to become a leader in sustainable and responsible investments. By offering "an offer half the price of the maximum estimated value", BlackRock "maximized its chances of hitting the contract. And winning it could allow it to get an idea (of future regulations) and to exert an influence on a segment. booming investment, ”she observes.

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Conflict , disputes and disagreements are a part of daily life so it’s important that people feel able to deal with them when they arise. However, there are tactics that people can adopt to reduce the risk of becoming involved in conflict that adversely affects their health. We’ve highlighted some of them

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The European contract was awarded for an amount of 280,000 euros, a Commission spokesperson said in April, assuring that "the best offer" had been chosen. Ms. O'Reilly considers it "highly questionable" that the clear separation established between the conduct of the study and the group's investment activities "can moderate" the risk of conflict of interest. It therefore asks the Commission "to improve its guidelines" governing calls for tenders and to "consider" a revision of its financial regulation to prevent such situations. The report "did not identify any act of maladministration (...) and confirms that we have applied the rules fully and fairly," a Commission spokesperson responded to AFP on Thursday, adding that the institution would examine the mediator's proposals.

>> To read also - Has the company BlackRock had an influence in the pension reform?

The BlackRock team, author of the study, "is committed to providing a service at the highest standards, with the best value for money" and "the Commission has already publicly indicated that the technical quality of the proposal has was the determining criterion "for his choice, defended the financial giant, questioned by AFP, without answering however on the risk of conflict of interest. Emily O'Reilly had opened an investigation after several complaints denouncing a "failure to deal properly with matters of conflict of interest". More than 80 MEPs were concerned about this situation in mid-April in a written question to the European executive.

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