Flow of SEC Fair Funds Distributions Turns to Torrent

by Bruce Carton

Two months ago we speculated here that while it was too early to declare a trend based on just two announcements, it sure looked like money was starting to flow to investors from the SEC’s newly created Office of Collections and Distributions.  In the past two weeks, that flow has turned into a full-fledged blast, with three more announcements by the SEC that funds were being distributed to investors in the Vivendi Universal, Putnam Mutual Funds, and Janus Mutual Funds settlements.

At this pace, Dick D’Anna, the new Director of OC&D, is quickly going to run out of quotes to accompany the announcement of these distributions.  His three most recent are:

Vivendi Universal: “This distribution highlights the continued efforts and increased capacity of the Commission to repay injured investors, regardless of their physical location and their currency of choice. Our ongoing focus will be to improve our assistance to these investors.”

Janus Mutual Funds: “This case provides a tremendous amount of satisfaction to our staff as we are able to provide funds to hundreds of thousands of harmed investors.  We look forward to completing the full distribution in the coming months.”

Putnam Mutual Funds: “These payments exemplify the SEC’s commitment to dealing with the complications inherent in processing Fair Fund distributions to large and diverse groups of investors, in this case more than 1.5 million investors who held mutual fund shares over a span of several years.”