Two investors in the $4.8 billion Morgan Stanley American Opportunities Fund have filed a lawsuit against the funds advisor, Morgan Stanley Investment Advisers, and its distributor, Morgan Stanley Distributors, charging them with receiving soft-dollar compensation, the Associated Press reports. Chana and David Yampolsky do not specify the amount of soft-dollar compensation Morgan Stanley received in their suit, which they filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. But they charge Morgan Stanley with breaching its fiduciary duty by receiving what they call unreasonably high compensation. The fund took in $27.8 million in fees in 2002.
"The defendants are poster children for the excesses that have plagued the mutual fund industry," the Yampolskys allege in their suit.
The Mutual Fund Integrity and Fee Transparency Act would require funds to disclose soft-dollar arrangements.