Putnam axes four over pension admin errors

US – Marsh & McLennan’s Putnam Investments has axed four people over errors in US defined contribution pension scheme administration.

The issue is unrelated to Putnam’s involvement in the market timing scandal.

It relates to the January 2001 transfer of a 401(k) retirement fund with more than one billion dollars in assets. The transfer was delayed by a day in error, which cost the fund 1.5 million dollars. The error was kept from Putnam’s fund trustee panel and the client.

“Certain procedures just weren’t followed,” said a Putnam spokeswoman.

Putnam said it is making “full restitution” to the client. In addition, five other funds were also “impacted”, including the Putnam Research Fund, to the tune of 2.3 million dollars. This has already been reflected on the books of the funds.

“The individuals Putnam believes are responsible for these violations, as well as the senior executive with oversight for the area, have left the firm,” Putnam said, without naming the people.

“Since becoming chief executive officer in November 2003, I have made strict adherence to the highest standards of conduct my absolute priority,” said CEO Ed Haldeman.

“Putnam’s Trustees and I take any violation of Putnam standards, past or present, with utmost seriousness, and we have taken decisive action regarding these improper error corrections.”

Haldeman was named CEO as the firm became embroiled in the so-called market timing affair which saw the departure of former CEO Lawrence Lasser.

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