In the wake of Edward Jones' $75 million settlement with the SEC, NASD and NYSE last week, Doug Hill, the private partnership's top executive, will step down, The Wall Street Journal reports. Although the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Missouri had also been investigating the firm and California regulators sued the firm last Monday, it was an agreement with the Justice Department to create a "reconstituted" executive committee that triggered Hill's departure.

Edward Jones agreed to a $75 million settlement for having accepted $300 million in undisclosed shelf-space fees, making it the largest revenue-sharing settlement any brokerage firm has been hit with so far and Hill one of the highest-profile casualties in the ongoing fund scandal. Of the $75 million, Hill will pay $3 million and the other partners, $41 million.

The St. Louis, Missouri-based firm reportedly racked up the payments from January 2000 through the present from seven mutual fund firms known internally as "preferred funds": American Funds, Federated Investors, Goldman Sachs, The Hartford, Lord Abbett, Putnam Investments and Van Kampen Investments. The sale of these funds made up roughly 98% of all Jones' mutual fund sales during that time frame.

The firm revealed Hill's departure in a SEC filing, saying the executive, who had assumed the position only last January, had agreed to "voluntarily retire." Hill, 60, will remain a managing partner until the end of 2005 and continue to serve as a partner thereafter. He sent staffers a memo yesterday saying he "agreed to this condition to clear the way for a settlement of these issues so all of us can put the dispute behind us." Hill declined comment for The Journal.

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The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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