A BlackRock whistleblower files a lawsuit after getting fired

BlackRock is being sued for $20 million by former vice president Hamdan Azhar, who claims he was fired for objecting to a colleague’s self-dealing and shutting down a search engine that monitored client discussions about illegal investments, including those in China. Azhar’s complaint states that in March 2022, BlackRock instructed him to cease work on Trend Spotter, a tool he had developed, and transfer his projects to Rightpoint, where the husband of his former boss Tiffany Perkins-Munn worked.

Azhar, who resides in Brooklyn, was terminated two months later after persistently objecting to a $2 million contract awarded to Rightpoint before Perkins-Munn’s resignation, which he called “illegal self-dealing.” He also claims his new boss, Riaz Hakkim, refused to escalate concerns about client discussions that Trend Spotter could have monitored, potentially conflicting with BlackRock’s public disclosures.

A spokesperson dismissed Azhar’s allegations as “completely meritless,” citing his termination due to poor performance and unprofessional conduct. The spokesperson clarified that Trend Spotter was intended solely to summarise client interactions for marketing purposes and did not monitor investments or ensure compliance.

Azhar’s lawyer, Subhan Tariq, rejected BlackRock’s response, emphasising that Azhar was preparing to become head of strategy at BlackRock AI Labs, underscoring his value to the company.


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