Ex-fund manager sues BlackRock for contract breach

Tue Jul 3, 2012 3:44pm EDT

The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York January 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) - A former fund manager at BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) sued the company on Tuesday, alleging it did not provide him with investment results for his funds as his employment contract required, according to court documents.

Michael Lipsky, who resigned from BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, in December, 2010, alleged that he repeatedly asked BlackRock for his fund performance record for the period in which he worked there, but the company "deliberately refused to comply," according to a complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The case underscores widespread concerns in the securities industry about the competitive threat that certain employees may pose to companies after they leave, said Jonathan Uretsky, a New York-based securities lawyer. "There has always been a way for a firm to take advantage of its size and competitive nature," he said.

Tactics such as withholding information may not be illegal, Uretsky said, but can make it difficult for employees to move on.

Lipsky's complaint alleged that BlackRock is refusing to provide the information in order to "unlawfully prevent, restrict and restrain Lipsky from competing" with the company. Lipsky said he is losing money and business opportunities as a result.

A BlackRock spokesman did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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