Florida Sacks Putnam from Equity Portfolios

March 8, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The latest blow to scandal-plagued Putnam Investments is a decision by the state of Florida's $135 billion pension fund to show the Boston-based investment company the door.

Florida, the nation’s fourth-largest pension system, replaced Putnam as the manager of a $500 million international equity portfolio and a $450 million global stock portfolio, Bloomberg News reported. The Florida pension board replaced Putnam with New Star Asset Management Ltd. and Bank of Ireland Asset Management.   Putnam has been accused by state and federal regulators of improper trading.

But Florida officials were also concerned about lagging returns, pension spokesman Michael McCauley told Bloomberg.

Floridajoined Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania among the states that have fired Putnam as manager of pension assets. Putnam had $236 billion in assets under management as of January 31.