Putnam says top lawyer Woolverton to retire

US – Putnam Investments says its top lawyer William Woolverton is to retire amid the market timing scandal and be replaced by State Street Research & Management Co.’s Frank McNamara.

Putnam said in a statement that McNamara, 48, would become general counsel and senior managing director on April 19, reporting to chief executive Ed Haldeman.

He was formerly general counsel and a member of the management committee at Boston-based State Street Research, which is a subsidiary of MetLife Inc. and not part of State Street Corp.

Putnam's board of trustees found last month that Woolverton, 53, and former chief executive Lawrence Lasser had known that market timing had been taking place at the firm since 2000.

McNamara is on the Investment Company Institute’s Securities and Exchange Commission rules committee. He chairs the legal and regulatory committee of the Investment Counsel Association of America.

"Frank is an individual of the highest integrity, and he has extensive experience as a general counsel in the asset management industry," Haldeman said.

“He is highly respected in the legal and investment professions and I am confident that his unique skills will be a great asset to Putnam.”

Meanwhile, another firm embroiled in the investigation into the mutual fund industry, Janus Capital Group, said that its executive vice president of institutional services, Lars Soderberg, would take a leave of absence.

“During the leave, the company will continue to evaluate Soderberg's future role with the company, in light of the ongoing investigations of the mutual fund industry and related regulatory matters.”

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