Franklin Resources on Monday said that improper trading of its mutual fund shares were isolated incidents that do not reflect widespread company abuses and did harm long-term shareholders.
The company was responding to an administrative complaint filed last week by Massachusetts regulators and a civil charge filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging the company allowed one of its clients to market time $45 million in Franklin mutual funds in exchange for a $10 million investment in a Franklin hedge fund. Additionally, the firm said the SEC is considering an action against two senior officers and one of its units.
While admitting that William Post, the president and chief executive of the northern California region for Templeton/Franklin Investment Services struck a deal with a hedge fund investor promising different-than-usual terms, Franklin Resources says it rejected the arrangement and placed the officer on administrative leave. Post, who had allegedly cleared the way for wealthy Las Vegas investor Daniel Calugar of the now defunct Security Brokerage Inc. to participate in market timing, has left the company in December.
Franklin admitted that it has entered discussions with the SEC "regarding this and additional matters," and added "Our policy is to work closely with regulators to deal swiftly with any issue such as this, and we are committed to working with Massachusetts regulators to resolve this situation in the best interests of our investors."
Security Brokerage Inc. was shut down in December stemming from its alleged market timing in Alliance funds.