RS Investments Settles With Regulators

Oct. 6, 2005 -- RS Investment Management LP will pay $25 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that the company permitted rapid-fire trading in its mutual funds, federal and New York regulators said today.

Under a separate agreement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, RS also agreed to reduce fees it charges fund shareholders by $5 million over five years.

The company will return $11.5 million and will pay $13.5 million in fines as part of the SEC settlement. The money will be distributed to fund investors who were affected by the market-timing trades, the SEC said. RS also will take steps to strengthen compliance, authorities said.

As part of the SEC settlement, RS' chief executive officer, G. Randall Hecht, and its former chief financial officer, Steven Cohen, agreed to pay fines of $150,000 each. RS and the two men neither admitted to or denied the SEC's fraud charges.

Cohen also will be suspended from associating with an investment adviser or investment company for nine months. That will be followed by a two-year suspension from serving as an officer or director of an adviser or investment company.

Hecht, a part-owner of RS, has agreed to resign as a trustee of the RS Investment Trust, which oversees the mutual funds. He has also agreed to "significant restrictions on his role at the firm," including having nothing to do with marketing and compliance for 12 months, the SEC said.

According to the SEC, RS entered secret agreements that allowed selected investors to "generate millions of dollars in trading profits at the potential expense of other shareholders, and allowed RS to reap substantial advisory fees."

As a result of the agreement, RS generated additional fees of at least $1.7 million between 2000 and 2003 because of market timing, the SEC said.

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.

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