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June 9, 2015

Don’t Believe Putnam Investments CEO’s Claims about Acting in their Clients’ Best Interests; Believe Putnam’s SEC Filings that Contradict Putnam’s CEO

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued this statement in response to Putnam Investment’s CEO Robert Reynolds’ attack today on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) best interest standard:

“Today Putnam Investment’s CEO, Robert Reynolds, attacked the DOL rule that would simply require Putnam and other retirement advisors to put their clients’ interests first. In addition to mischaracterizing the rule in his attack, Putnam’s CEO claimed that ‘the client’s best interest is our best interest without a doubt.’ But Putnam’s ‘Conflict of Interest’ disclosure in its SEC ADV filing (2015 form ADV, part 2A, page 23) tells the truth, contradicts the CEO and proves why the DOL rule is required: ‘Doing business with our affiliates could involve conflicts of interest if, for example, we use affiliated products and services when those products and services are not in our clients’ best interests.’

Unless Putnam’s CEO states that Putnam has never used, uses or will ever use ‘affiliated products and services when those products and services are not in our clients’ best interests’ and amends the SEC ADV filing, then he should retract his statement that Putnam’s ‘client’s best interest is our best interest without a doubt.’ At a minimum, Putnam’s own legal filing with the SEC creates a substantial ‘doubt.’”

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Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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