NY Firm Set to Buy Security Trust

December 23, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A New York stock transfer agent has agreed to acquire a beleaguered Phoenix custodian/trustee heavily caught up in the ongoing mutual fund trading scandal.

The deal for American Stock Transfer & Trust Company (AST) to acquire Security Trust Company (STC) is expected to close by the end of the year, according to STC spokeswoman Nancy Murphy. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Murphy said Security Trust had received 13 bids and had finally hammered out a deal with AST that has since been okayed by the US Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which has been supervising Security Trust for the last several weeks.

Murphy said the deal calls for AST to keep STC’s Phoenix location as well as its 131 employees. All three existing STC business lines – retirement plans, master trust, and custody – are expected to remain operational, although it is as yet unclear what the STC operation will be called, Murphy said.

Former STC executives were the first to be hit with criminal charges in the market timing and late trading scandal as well as being slapped with a government civil suit and a federal enforcement action that could have ended with the company being shuttered (See   STC Ex-Execs Hit With Criminal Charges; Regulators Force Dissolution).  

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said his office had filed felony charges against STC accusing three former senior executives of “pervasive misconduct” in helping in the late trading of mutual funds and the “larceny” of more than $1 million. In addition, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil suit against STC and OCC announced it had started efforts to dissolve STC.

Finally, Reuters reported this week that aNew York State grand jury is looking into allegations that illegal fund trading at STC cost its customers millions of dollars (See   Report: Spitzer Grand Jury Continues STC Probe).  

For more information on AST, go to  http://www.amstock.com/main/ .