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Monday, November 21, 2005

Galvin Presses OppFunds for Info

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

William Galvin, the Massachusetts version of Eliot Spitzer, is going after OppenheimerFunds' records in search of information to help him build a case against MassMutual CEO Robert O'Connell, reports the Boston Business Journal.

O'Connell left MassMutual under a cloud after his ex-wife raised questions with the insurer's board that ultimately led to allegations that he had inappropriately used the insurer's assets.

Last month, Galvin sued MassMutual in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston (the insurer is based in Springfield).

OppenheimerFunds found itself dragged into the case when Galvin subpoenaed it for documents relating to whether Jared O'Connell (Robert's son and a former employee at OppenheimerFunds Distributor Inc.) broke securities laws by sharing proprietary securities-trading strategies with his brother in-law Rex Hampton, another MassMutual employee.

The MassMutual fund arm has been fighting the subpoena since it was issued in June, arguing that Galvin is overreaching his jurisdiction and that the matter falls within the domain of the SEC.

Galvin claimed in an October 27 court filing that he MassMutual ignored a "more narrowly tailored" information request to MassMutual in July.

MassMutual, for its part, released a statement saying that it is "in full compliance" with its obligations under state law. It added, "To the extent there may be any disagreement with Mr. Galvin's office, we hope to resolve it amicably." 

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