Pozen Reported In Line for MFS Executive Slot

February 9, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Massachusetts Financial Services Co. (MFS) is expected to name Robert Pozen, former head of Fidelity Investments' investment management unit, as its new nonexecutive chairman, an unnamed source told The Wall Street Journal.

The move comes after Boston-based MFS, a unit of Sun Life Financial Inc., last week settled state and federal regulatory charges of civil fraud with a $225 million fine and $125 million in fee reductions (See  MFS Scandal Settlement Finalized ). Chief Executive John Ballen and President Kevin Parke were also banned for three years from serving as officers or directors of a mutual fund company, among other penalties.

The appointment of Pozen, who recently stepped down as a top advisor to Massachusetts’ governor and is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, is sure to be seen as an effort to shore up MFS’s credibility, the Journal reported. At Fidelity, Pozen, a lawyer and former US Securities and Exchange Commission official, was credited with turning around Fidelity’s often uneven investment performance.

In addition, Pozen, a mutual fund regulatory expert, was also noted for having established stricter restrictions on personal trading among Fidelity fund managers – a move that wasn’t popular among managers at the time. But, so far, Boston-based Fidelity, the nation’s largest mutual fund company, has not been tainted by the burgeoning mutual fund market timing and late trading scandal.

Pozen replaces the retiring Jeffrey Shames, the current nonexecutive chairman.