Nov. 25, 2003 — Putnam Investments, which has suffered investor defections recently amid the mutual fund trading scandal, saw its assets under management decline by another $9 billion last week.

Putnam was overseeing $247 billion as of Nov. 21, compared with $256 billion a week earlier. The company’s mutual fund assets declined to $163 billion from $168 billion in the latest seven-day period. Institutional assets slipped $4 billion to $84 billion.

A Putnam spokeswoman today attributed $3 billion of the decrease in fund assets to the drop in the overall stock market during the week.

The asset figures were disclosed by Putnam’s parent, Marsh & McLennan (MMC), an insurance company, in a regulatory filing Monday. The insurer has said that Putnam has “sufficient liquidity” to handle the redemptions.

The latest withdrawals came during the week when Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), the biggest U.S. private-sector employer, announced it was eliminating two Putnam funds from its 401(k) retirement plan for employees. Other companies that dropped Putnam from their retirement plans last week included Revlon Inc`A` (REV) and DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX).

Putnam last month agreed to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission stemming from improper trading of its funds.