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NASD Issues Non-Cash Comp Fines

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The National Association of Securities Dealers has punished 3 companies in connection with allegations that they violated NASD rules concerning payment of guest expenses at financial representatives’ training and education meetings.

The NASD, Washington, imposed a $175,000 fine on Putnam Retail Management Ltd. Partnership, Boston, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies, New York.

The NASD also imposed a $425,000 non-cash compensation fine on Scudder Distributors Inc., Chicago; and a $100,000 fine on AllianceBernstein Investments Inc., New York.

The companies fined neither admitted nor denied the allegations, but they consented to the entry of NASD’s findings.

NASD found that Putnam violated NASD rules relating to non-cash compensation from 2001 through 2004 by paying for meals and ground transportation expenses of brokers’ spouses and guests in connection with training and education meetings.

Putnam also paid for entertainment at training and education meetings for brokers and their guests in connection with 2 training and education meetings in 2001, including tickets to a Boston Red Sox game.

Putnam has issued a statement noting that it voluntarily stopped paying expenses for guests and training and education meetings in 2004, when it learned those payments were against NASD rules.

“Putnam is confident that its current systems and procedures are in compliance with NASD non-cash compensation rules,” the company says in the statement.


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