Strong Financial Corp. has turned over a new leaf in hopes of regaining assets after widely publicized scandals ousted its founder and prompted a sale to Wells Fargo & Co, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune reports.
The company's short-term action plan to distance itself from the scandal includes fee rollbacks on at least 20 funds, improved investment performance and tighter compliance measures.
Industry analysts say Strong achieved its aim of boosting half of its 58 stock and bond funds into top-performance quartiles of their respective categories following the takeover by Wells, which purchased the company in May.
Morningstar has also reversed its course of bashing Strong and recently endorsed several of its funds. Wells also helped Strong by encouraging a number of its best-performing fund managers to stay after regulatory troubles peaked last year.
Analysts also say the two firms' combined managed assets give parent Wells more robust distribution muscle. Strong brought $42.2 billion to the table.
During the past three years, Strong's biggest funds deterred investors with negative 25% average annual returns. The situation worsened when New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer spearheaded a $115 million fine against the firm.