Mark Wiseman, global head of active equities at BlackRock, is leaving the firm after violating the firm’s policy regarding inter-office relationships, two internal memos issued to BlackRock staff said.
“I am leaving BlackRock because in recent months I engaged in a consensual relationship with one of our colleagues without reporting it as required by BlackRock’s Relationships at Work Policy,” Mr. Wiseman wrote in a memo he sent to his colleagues. “I regret my mistake and I accept responsibility for my actions.”
Mr. Wiseman was previously one of several senior executives under consideration to succeed Laurence D. Fink as BlackRock’s chairman and CEO.
Mr. Wiseman’s departure will have no impact on the firm’s portfolios or client activities, said a separate memo sent to all employees from Mr. Fink and Robert Kapito, BlackRock co-founder and president.
“This is not who BlackRock is. This is not our culture,” the memo sent by Messrs. Fink and Kapito said. We expect every employee to uphold the highest standards of behavior. This is especially critical for our senior leaders.”
No changes will be made to BlackRock’s alternatives business, where Mr. Wiseman served as Chairman. Edwin N. Conway, senior managing director and global head of BlackRock Alternative Investors, and Jim Barry, chief investment officer of BAI, will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the business.
This is the second BlackRock senior executive to leave the firm this year due to personal conduct. In July, BlackRock’s global head of human resources Jeff Smith left the firm after violating company policy, though the company did not disclose the nature of the violation.
Before joining BlackRock in 2016, Mr. Wiseman was president and CEO of the C$409.5 billion ($309.1 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto.
BlackRock spokeswoman Melissa Garville declined to comment beyond what was in the memos.