Pension Fund Fires Putnam
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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Pension Fund Fires Putnam

CalPERS has withdrawn $1.2 billion in managed assets from Putnam, the Associated Press reports.

Putnam began managing $608 million in U.S. equities for CalPERS in 1998. In 2001, CalPERS added $609 million in an international equity portfolio.

Sean Harrigan, president of the CalPERS board, said the fund's decision was based on a review that showed that senior Putnam managers failed to act when the company's compliance office first reported improper trading. He also said that the controversy would probably handicap Putnam from managing the funds effectively as the company's attention would be diverted elsewhere.

CalPERS has also decided to begin reviewing 66 of its other money managers and is mandating them to adopt an ethics code to continue doing business with the pension fund.

Putnam's assets under managment have been declining steadily since the probe of the company shifted into high gear. Last week alone, the company lost $7 billion in assets under management. Yesterday, in an SEC filing Marsh McLennan reported Putnam's assets under management at $256 billion as of Friday. However, last week, the firm reported $263 billion and the end of October, the company had $277 billion in assets under management.

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