NU Online News Service, April 8, 2004, 1:19 p.m. EDT – Putnam Investments, Boston, says it has agreed to pay $55 million to settle administrative proceedings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Massachusetts securities regulators.[@@]

The settlement agreement includes $5 million in disgorgement and $50 million in penalties, and all of the cash will go to Putnam fund shareholders, Putnam says.

Putnam, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., New York, suffered a blow to its reputation last fall, when the SEC and Massachusetts securities regulators said they were investigating allegations of questionable trading activities at Putnam mutual funds.

Putnam says it has brought in new executives and made many other changes to its operations since November 2003 in an effort to put the trading problems behind it.