SEC looking into mutual fund kickbacks

Amy Scott Oct 26, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: I’m guessing you’re probably invested in a mutual fund somehow, maybe through your 401k. The SEC thinks some mutual funds may be misbehaving. The Wall Street Journal says the agency’s looking into 27 of them for possibly accepting kickbacks. Amy Scott has more.

AMY SCOTT: It all started with a company called Bisys.

It provides various administrative services for mutual funds, like writing shareholder reports, and last month it agreed to pay more than $20 million to settle an investigation into rebates it paid mutual fund managers in exchange for their business.

According to a person familiar with the case, the SEC is now probing the fund managers that may have accepted the kickbacks from Bisys.

Burton Greenwald is a consultant to the mutual fund industry. He says the managers paid less for administrative services than they claimed to.

BURTON GREENWALD: They’re a legitimate expense of the fund, and therefore if they’re less than they’re purported to be, the savings should be reflected in the fund’s assets, not in the pocketbooks of the sponsors.

The SEC says the fund managers used the money to for expenses like marketing, something shareholders shouldn’t be paying for.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.