Shareholders in a number of large Fidelity mutual funds, most notably the $73 billion Contrafund, succeeded in forcing a proxy vote at press time on whether the company should institute a "genocide-free" investment policy. Insiders did not expect, however, the unbinding measure to pass.

Meanwhile, on March 5, Fidelity settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the investigation into whether the firm improperly accepted gifts, tickets and invitations to parties from large brokerage firms, including Jefferies. The case, which came colorfully to light three years ago with revelations of a jet, a Miami bachelor party and a dwarf, is now closed.

Fidelity has posted a statement on its public website noting that the $8 million settlement involved only 13 employees and that it has since "taken a number of remedial actions to back up its commitment that these types of activities shall not recur, including disciplining the individuals involved."

Fidelity added that the 13 have either been removed from the trading desk or left the firm.

(c) 2008 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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