Mutual Fund Scandal Prompts Scrutiny of 401(k) Practices
Business Insurance (01/12/04) Vol. 38, No. 2 p.3; Greenwald, Judy

Sponsors of 401(k) plans are watching to see the outcome of the mutual fund scandal, as curiosity over their own fiduciary liability gives way to concern. Many companies that do business with mutual fund companies involved in the scandal have removed those funds from their portfolio of investment options for their 401(k) plans. Other plan sponsors are imposing limits on the number of trades plan sponsors can make. At Janus Capital, for example, it was reported that 10 institutional investors had the opportunity to trade frequently, so the company has taken steps to impose a moratorium on frequent trades in the future. Likewise, Strong Financial announced that it is taking steps to prevent investors from participating in frequent trading activity. "Clearly the industry as a whole needs to clean up its act," says Craig Horner, CFO of insurance brokerage and consulting firm Riggs, Counselman, Michaels & Downes, since the defined contribution plan participants are counting on the integrity of fund companies. Industry watchers agree that as long as sponsors do just that, they will not be held liable for a fund's actions.


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