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Rating:Investors Target Fee Discrepancies in Lawsuits Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Investors Target Fee Discrepancies in Lawsuits

by: Theresa Sim

Investors are bringing lawsuits alleging unfair management fees against Putnam Investments and Fidelity Investments, among other fund families, the Boston Globe reported on Wednesday.

Investors allege that discrepancies in management fees charged to retail investors versus institutional investors are too large to be explained by economies of scale in administration and other costs. Investors are accusing the fund firms of padding their bottom lines with higher retail fees.

In the Putnam case, investors allege that the fund manager recoups administrative costs through other fees -- therefore, retail and institutional fee discrepancies are unjustified, the Globe reported.

The lawsuit against Putnam was filed in Boston federal court in May, and the Fidelity case in July, reported the Globe. Firms Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP and Perkins Smith & Cohen are the counsel representing plaintiffs in the cases, respectively.

Thomas R. Grady, a lawyer based in Naples, Florida, has been involved in many of the lawsuits against fund firms, including the Putnam and Fidelity cases. Grady and other attorneys have so far settled cases involving Alliance Capital Management and UBS Global Asset Management, the Globe reported.

Grady told the Globe that the cases were "settled favorably," but could not disclose the terms.

"By any stretch of the imagination it would be impossible for Fidelity to show the mutual fund fees are reasonable in light of what it's charging institutional clients in arm's-length transactions," the Globe reported Harry Miller, co-counsel in the lawsuit against Fidelity, as saying. 

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