John D. Carifa, president, chief operating officer and director of Alliance Capital, was forced to resign by the companys board of directors Monday because of market timing practices that occurred on his watch. Also resigning was Michael J. Laughlin, the firms mutual fund distribution unit chairman.
Other fund scandal news this morning concerns Strong Capital chairman Richard Strong. He may be criminally charged for self-dealing, The Wall Street Journal reports. This could be a terrible blow to the company, since Strong owns 90% of it.
Alliance Chief Executive Officer Lewis A. Sanders said the resignations at his firm were necessary "despite their considerable contributions to the firm over many years." Because the two men had "both senior and direct responsibility over the firms mutual fund unit," Sanders said the board decided to ask for their resignations.
Gerald Lieberman, who worked for Bernstein since 1999 prior to its merger with Alliance, will replace Carifa as COO. Taking over as the mutual fund business chairman will be Marc O. Mayer, another former Bernstein employee who is currently the head of Alliances institutional investment management sales and marketing unit. With these two men taking the posts, two of the three top executives at Alliance are former Bernstein employees.
Alliance is currently investigating its own improprieties, and has already fired fund manager Gerlad Malone and marketing executive Charles Schaffran for their part in market timing. Both are expected to be charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission.