Weekly Web Roundup
January 21, 2002
MFMarketnews.com is keeping abreast of the industry's latest developments with postings twice a day. If you didn't log on last week, here are some Web exclusives you missed:
* Vanguard has modified its policy on index-fund share exchanges to permit telephone and online exchanges. Limits remain and not all Vanguard funds are included but shareholders will have more flexibility than in the past.
* A class-action lawsuit filed in a federal court in Connecticut, charges Nationwide Financial Services with acting illegally when it rebated a share of administrative fees to a plan vendor. The practice is not unusual in the 401(k) industry, but the suit claims Nationwide has been particularly aggressive in seeking it. Plaintiffs argued that Nationwide became a fiduciary under ERISA when it accepted administrative fees deducted from plan assets, and that the practice "breaches fiduciary responsibility because it benefits [Nationwide] and not the plan participants," says plaintiffs' attorney Roger Mandel.
* The Securities and Exchange Commission censured a KPMG LLP for auditor independence violations. KPMG falsely claimed it was an independent auditor when, in fact, it held a significant investment in one of AIM Capital Management's money market funds. The SEC found that from May through December of last year, KPMG held at least $25 million in the AIM Short-Term Investments Trust and at one point accounted for at least 15% of its net assets, according to the SEC.