BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, agreed to end its analyst survey program worldwide, as part of an agreement reached Wednesday with the New York Attorney General's office.
The agreement stems from an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into the early release of Wall Street analyst sentiment, which can move markets.
BlackRock agreed to pay $400,000 for the cost of the investigation, but no fine or penalty, and to cooperate in any investigation related to the probe.
"BlackRock deserves credit for recognizing the need for reform when it comes to the dissemination of information that can move markets," Schneiderman said in a statement. He called the agreement "a major step forward in restoring fairness in our financial markets and ensuring a level playing field for all investors."
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The Analyst Survey Program asked many of the world's most prominent analysts at dozens of brokerage firms a series of questions related to the companies they were covering, according to the agreement.