Fidelity, Putnam Face Possible Ouster From MA Pension Management

September 19, 2003 ( - Poor performance may cost Fidelity Investments and Putnam Investments contracts to manage money for the Massachusetts state pension fund.

Officials at the $28-billion Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) said they plan to meet with the two firms later this month to review their performance.   In question are a $450-million stock account run by Fidelity and $1 billion in international stocks managed by Putnam, according to a Bloomberg News report.

“We’re just triple checking to make sure we understand why they’re underperforming, that they understand why they’re underperforming, and to let them know we are very concerned,” said Stanley Mavromates, deputy chief investment officer at PRIM.

Additionally, PRIM officials plan to question Putnam about accusations that some investors in the firm’s $1.2-billion International Capital Opportunities Fund may have been allowed to place one-day trades to take advantage of outdated prices of international securities.   This comes after Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin subpoenaed Boston-based Putnam, seeking information about allegations of the prohibited short-term trading.