The Securities and Exchange Commissions latest probe into Massachusetts Financial Services centers on its financial arrangements with several top brokerage houses, the company has admitted in a filing with the Commission.
MFSs said in the filing it has "been under investigation by the SEC relating to its directed brokerage and revenue-sharing arrangements with various distributors of its products, including Morgan Stanley." The SEC is looking into whether the company received payments from brokerages whose stocks were held within MFS mutual funds.
While assuring that no definite conclusions have been drawn from the SECs investigation, MFS, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Sun Life, did concede that the probe "may result in sanctions, compensation payments or other financial penalties."
The news comes less than two weeks after its $350 million settlement with the state and federal regulators for market timing and late-trading infractions. Under the terms of the agreement, MFS agreed to the suspensions of CEO John Ballen and President Kevin Parke and lowered management fees by $25 million per year for the next five years.
This most recent probe is also looking into possible market timing in MFS sub-accounts, and possible company knowledge of those improper trades.