Across the country, customers are firing scandal-tarred Putnam Investments, as massive withdrawals led to a $32 billion, or almost 12%, drop in assets last month.
But Putnam has quietly done some firing of its own. The nation’s fifth-largest mutual-fund firm recently gave notice that it was terminating the retirement plan of a New York trade union — the one that first landed it in legal trouble.
Putnam, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos. (MMC), late last month sent a letter to Boilermakers Union, Local 5 in New York, giving it 60 days to find a new investment manager of the union’s 401(k)-style retirement plan.
The union members have drawn attention as being among the more savvy practitioners of market timing involving the rapid trading of mutual-fund shares. From 2000 to 2003, 10 market-timing members of the boilermakers union made more than $4 million in profits through 2,672 trades of Putnam international funds, according to Massachusetts regulators.