An Alliance Capital executive’s membership on Enron’s board of directors has raised the issue of a possible conflict of interest, according to a report appearing today in the New York Times.

While many investors were busy selling Enron stock as the company sank closer to bankruptcy, Alliance Capital was busy snapping up shares, becoming the largest shareholder in the firm by the end of September with 43 million shares, the Times reports.

Frank Savage, a senior executive and director with Alliance, was sitting on Enron’s board of directors, a position that has some questioning Savage’s dual role, the story said. Alliance, for its part, says there is no conflict of interest because, as chairman of Alliance Capital Management International, Savage had no involvement in money management, the Times reports.

Alliance also said that it missed the warning signs of Enron’s demise but did not reveal how large of a loss it took as a result of the company’s bankruptcy. Whether Savage had any information indicating Enron’s financial status before its collapse is not known, the Times reported.

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