BlackRock, Owl Rock Must Face Bias Suit by Black-Owned Firm

(Bloomberg) — BlackRock and Owl Rock Capital have filed a racial escalation from a small black-owned investment firm that they allege conspired with New Jersey officials to steal a plan to lower the cost of the public pension plan. We have to face allegations of prejudice.

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A federal judge on Friday largely denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit by Blueprint Capital Advisors LLC, which claims the state adopted the plan and instead partnered with BlackRock and Owl Rock.

Judge Julian Xavier Niels of the U.S. District Court in Newark argued in a 2020 lawsuit that Blueprint received “different terms and treatment” from states during years of negotiations for civil rights and racketeering violations. said he fully acknowledged

Newark-based Blueprint, founded in 2015 by black investment professionals Jacob Walther and Carrie Pickett, has sued BlackRock, Owl Rock, Governor Phil Murphy, the New Jersey Department of Investments, and their outside consultants. He named several state officials, including Cliffwater LLC.

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Niels dismissed several claims against Murphy and the state on the grounds that they were immune from action as senior government officials. did.

Rep. Owl Rock and the state did not respond to requests for comment. At the time the lawsuit was filed, BlackRock said it reviewed Blueprint’s allegations and found no wrongdoing. The company said it participated in the competitive process and was unaware of any discussions that took place between New Jersey and Blueprint.

“We continue to believe there is no merit in this lawsuit and are confident we will prevail in this dispute,” said BlackRock spokesperson Dominic McMullan on Tuesday.

In its lawsuit, Blueprint alleges that both BlackRock and Owl Rock benefited from “old school” networks within the DOI and used Blueprint’s scheme to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in investment from the state.

BlackRock, which has been criticized by political conservatives for its ESG efforts, was “fully aware of the racist exploitation taking place,” Blueprint claims.

Niels said Blueprint sufficed to claim an racketeering conspiracy by alleging that BlackRock and Owlrock were working with Cliffwater and state officials.

The case is Blueprint Capital Advisors LLC v. New Jersey, 20-cv-07663, United States District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

(Updates with comments from Blackrock.)

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