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Rating:Big Fund Firms Spend Big Lobbying Bucks Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 11, 2011

Big Fund Firms Spend Big Lobbying Bucks

by: Hung Tran

Some of the biggest names in asset management are reportedly lending their voices and wallets to counteract the wave of regulation besetting the $25.6 trillion asset-management industry.

BlackRock [see profile] spent some $1.7 million on lobbying in 2010, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing data from OpenSecrets.org, a nonprofit group that tracks lobbying data, up from $390,000 the year before and zero in 2006. Not to be outdone, Fidelity Investments Co. [see profile] parent FMR Corp. increased its spending 21 percent last year to $3.5 million and Legg Mason Inc. [see profile] coughed up $1.07 million last year, up from $580,000 in 2009.

Also, Vanguard Group Inc. [see profile] spent $1.2 million in lobbying expenses last year, which is more than double the firm's expense in 2006. Vanguard and BlackRock reportedly donated $394,000 and $129,000, respectively, to Democrats and Republicans, and Legg Mason donated a total of $13,000 to a Democrat and a political action committee.

Ann Combs, who heads Vanguard's government-relations efforts and Mike Alfred, co-founder and chief executive of BrightScope (a 401(k) analytics and benchmarking specialist), both weighed in on the topic. 

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