BlackRock data leak also hit Envestnet financial advisers

Axa Equitable has also been affected by the asset managers' inadvertant posting of information on its website about advisers doing business with its iShares ETF unit

Jan 23, 2019 @ 9:00 am

By Bloomberg News

BlackRock Inc.'s data leak has reached Envestnet Inc., a technology provider that serves financial advisers, and Axa Equitable, which sells life insurance and investment products.

On Wednesday, Axa became the third company to disclose it was affected by BlackRock's inadvertent posting of information on financial advisers who do business with the company's iShares exchange-traded funds unit.

"We take seriously any unauthorized release of information and, upon notification by BlackRock of this matter, took steps to ensure our impacted financial advisors' information is secure," the company said in a statement on Wednesday. "We will closely monitor the situation as BlackRock continues to research the incident."

On Tuesday, Estee Jimerson, managing director and head of asset manager distribution at Envestnet, said Envestnet was informed by BlackRock that some adviser information was inadvertently released.

"We are engaged with BlackRock to better understand the content and the advisors who were included in the document," she said. "BlackRock is in the process of informing impacted firms and we are closely monitoring the situation."

Bloomberg News first reported Friday that BlackRock inadvertently released names, email addresses and other information on about 20,000 financial advisers who do business with BlackRock's iShares ETF unit. That number includes the Envestnet-linked advisers. In total, Envestnet serves more than 92,000 advisers.

The leak included information on about 12,000 advisers who are clients at LPL Financial, the largest U.S. independent broker dealer. LPL informed advisers over the weekend that BlackRock posted details about some of them on its website.

Envestnet's disclosure demonstrates the extent of BlackRock's slip-up, which the asset manager attributed to human error. In a statement issued Monday, BlackRock said it "recognizes the seriousness of the error and we deeply regret that it occurred. We always seek to treat the information entrusted to us with great care."

The company declined to comment further on Tuesday.

In November, Envestnet and BlackRock entered a partnership to provide financial advisers with technology. As part of that arrangement, BlackRock agreed to acquire an equity stake of about 4.9% in Chicago-based Envestnet.


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