Former BlackRock employee charged with insider trading by Britain’s FCA

In an e-mailed statement BlackRock has clarified that the charges do not impact its clients or its operations since the charges are against Mark Lyttleton, in his personal capacity.

Britain’s market regulator has charged Mark Lyttleton, a former fund manager at BlackRock’s UK division, with insider trading.

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has charged 45 year old Lyttleton with 3 counts of insider trading. The charges relate to trading in call options and in equities from October to December 2011.

According to the FCA’s register of financial appointments, Lyttleton was employed at BlackRock Investment Management (UK) from 2001 to 2013. According to a source familiar with the matter at hand, in April 2013 he was arrested on suspicion of market abuse.

He was scheduled to have appear in the City of London Magistrates’ court on Sept. 29.

Lyttleton’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

In an e-mailed statement, BlackRock the world’s largest asset manager, has stated that the alleged behaviour was “totally contrary to the firm’s principles and values”. It was in favour of strong “aggressive enforcement of the law”.

The e-mail went on to add, “The FCA has informed us that the charges against a former employee relate to alleged actions carried out in 2011 for his personal gain, while off our premises, and that neither BlackRock, nor any employee, was under investigation. There was no impact to any of BlackRock’s clients as a result of the alleged actions.”

In Britain, insider dealings are a criminal offense and is punishable by a jail term of upto 7 years and by imposing a fine.

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