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Former BlackRock UK portfolio manager faces insider dealing charges

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has charged a formerinvestment portfolio manager at BlackRock Inc. unit BlackRock Investment Management (UK)Ltd. with three counts of insider dealing.

The regulator instituted criminal proceedings against MarkLyttleton. He was asked to appear in City of London Magistrates Court on Sept.29. The charges are related to trades in shares and a call option between Oct.2, 2011, and Dec. 16, 2011.

BlackRock said that the FCA has notified it about thecharges that Lyttleton is facing in connection with "alleged actionscarried out in 2011 for his personal gain, while off our premises." Theregulator also told BlackRock that it is not subject to any investigation.

"The alleged behavior is totally contrary to the firm'sprinciples and values, and we strongly support aggressive enforcement of thelaw in these matters," the company said in a statement obtained by S&PGlobal Market Intelligence.

Lyttleton and his wife were in May 2013 in connection withan insider trading probe initiated by the FCA.