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Rating:J.P. Morgan Paid American Century $373 million Over a 401k Dispute Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 23, 2012

J.P. Morgan Paid American Century $373 million Over a 401k Dispute

News summary by MFWire's editors

In August Canadian bank CIBC paid $848 million for New York City-based J.P. Morgan's [profile] 41 percent stake in Kansas City, Missouri-based American Century [profile] [see MFWire.com, 8/31/2011], and American Century also quietly won a $373-million judgment against J.P. Morgan, the Wall Street Journal reports. Though awarded in August and since paid, the arbitrators' judgment was just unsealed on Wednesday, in Missouri's Jackson County Circuit Court.

The dispute arose from the aftermath of J.P. Morgan's purchase of American Century's retirement plan services unit near years ago. Arbitrators with American Century's claims that J.P. Morgan had failed to live up to a revenue sharing agreement that was part of the deal, whereby J.P. Morgan was, in the WSJ's words, "committed to selling and promoting American Century investment funds." American Century accused J.P. Morgan of instead favoring J.P. Morgan funds.

In a statement, J.P. Morgan told the WSJ that the bank that arbitration judgment "misinterprets the contract, ignores facts favorable to [J.P. Morgan] ... and ignores expert opinions that were favorable to us." The paper couldn't reach American Century or J.P. Morgan's Jes Staley, who led J.P. Morgan's purchase of the American Century unit, for comment.

Meanwhile, in September J.P. Morgan filed a separate, sealed complaint claiming that "American Century improperly withheld information regarding the CIBC stock sale from J.P. Morgan's director designee on American Century's board" [see MFWire.com, 9/22/2011]. The court, in this case Delaware Chancery Court, had the bank refile a public but redacted version of the complaint, and at the time a spokesman for American Century hinted at the separate arbitration win.

"We believe J.P. Morgan filed that Delaware complaint as a tactical reaction to adverse result J.P. Morgan suffered in another matter recently concluded in favor of American Century," the American Century spokesman told MFWire.com in September. 

Edited by: HFD

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