Larry Lasser, the 18-year CEO of Putnam Investments, has agreed to resign, the firm’s parent company, Marsh & McLennan, announced this morning. He will be replaced by Charles Haldeman, now CEO and president. A.J.C. Smith becomes chairman. The news came as a result of an emergency board meeting early this morning.

Meanwhile, Richard Strong resigned as chairman of Strong Funds yesterday, on the eve of expected charges to be brought against him by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. However, Strong will remain chairman and chief executive of the fund complex’s parent company, Strong Capital Management. The independent directors of the company issued a statement yesterday that they will look for an independent president to replace Strong and cooperate with David Ruder, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission who is serving as counsel to the firm. The new president will not report to Strong but to the independent directors.

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