January 17, 2017
New York-based asset manager BlackRock Inc.
will pay a $340,000 penalty to settle charges that it improperly used separation agreements in which exiting employees were forced to waive their ability to obtain whistleblower awards. According to the SEC’s order, more than 1,000 departing BlackRock employees signed separation agreements containing violative language stating that they “waive any right to recovery of incentives for reporting of misconduct.” BlackRock added the waiver provision in October 2011 after the SEC adopted its whistleblower program rules, and the firm continued using it in separation agreements until March 2016. SEC