SEC Announces Fair Fund Distribution to Harmed Investors in Putnam Mutual Funds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Aug. 18, 2008 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the distribution of nearly $34 million to more than 600,000 investors who were harmed by undisclosed market timing and excessive short-term trading in certain mutual funds managed by Putnam Investment Management, LLC. This is the first in a series of Fair Fund distributions that will ultimately return a total of more than $150 million to more than 1.5 million affected Putnam mutual fund investors.
"The SEC is privileged to play a role in bringing some measure of monetary relief to Putnam mutual fund shareholders," said David Bergers, Director of the SEC's Boston Regional Office.
Dick D'Anna, Director of the SEC's Office of Collections and Distributions, added, "These payments exemplify the SEC's commitment to dealing with the complications inherent in processing Fair Fund distributions to large and diverse groups of investors, in this case more than 1.5 million investors who held mutual fund shares over a span of several years."
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 provided the SEC with authority to increase the amount of money returned to injured investors by allowing financial penalties to be included in Fair Fund distributions. Prior to Sarbanes-Oxley, only disgorgement could be returned to investors. Since 2002, SEC enforcement actions have resulted in the return of more than $4 billion to harmed investors.
In October 2003, the SEC and the Massachusetts Securities Division brought separate administrative proceedings against Putnam. In these proceedings, which were fully settled in April 2004, Putnam agreed to pay disgorgement and financial penalties and to implement certain compliance, mutual fund governance, and employee trading reforms. The Fair Fund distribution is comprised of money that Putnam paid to settle both the SEC and Massachusetts actions.
The SEC acknowledges the assistance and involvement of the Massachusetts Securities Division throughout the distribution process.
For more information about the administration of the Fair Fund distribution, please visit http://www.putnam.com/individual/fair_fund or call 1-800-848-9697.
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For more information, contact:
David P. Bergers, Regional Director
John T. Dugan, Associate Regional Director
SEC's Boston Regional Office