Putnam Excuses Two More Fund Managers

November 19, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A fixed-income and small- and mid-cap equities investment manager are the latest mutual fund managers to leave embattled Putnam Investments.

James Prusko and Frank Perfetuo, currently considered “on leave” from Putnam, will no longer be employed by the firm, was the word given to Dow Jones by a Putnam spokeswoman.   Not divulged were reasons the two were leaving their posts, or the exact dates of their departures.

Prusko was a member of several fixed-income portfolio management teams, while Perfetuo was a manager with the small- and mid-cap equities investment team.   Last month, Putnam disclosed that Prusko had been removed as part of the management team for four Putnam funds.   At the time though, a Putnam spokesperson would only say Prusko was “on leave,” according to Dow Jones.

The departure of the two managers comes on the heels of the dismissal of fellow mutual fund managers Justin Scott and OmidKamshad.   Scott and Kamshad were let go by the firm last month after it was revealed by Putnam the two were taking advantage of mutual fund market timing in their personal accounts (See  Market Timing Leads to “Late” Departure of Putnam Fund Managers ).

Currently, the two are facing charges of securities fraud by state and federal regulators in connection with the frequent trading of the mutual funds under their watch (See  Putnam Call-Center Rep Says Market-Timing Warnings Were Ignored).   In all, Putnam said four mutual fund managers were let go in connection to short-term trading of fund shares in their personal accounts .