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Franklin Resources Vice President Quits

Dec 24, 2003 | AP

A senior vice president at mutual-fund company Franklin Resources Inc. has resigned for undisclosed reasons, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Franklin Resources, which operates as Franklin Templeton Investments, didn't say if someone had replaced William J. Lippman, who resigned in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. He will continue to serve as an officer of some subsidiaries.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has received subpoenas from federal investigators in connection with the ongoing mutual-fund trading probe.

Franklin said Monday that it had found some instances of frequent trading by a few employees in their personal 401(k) plan accounts.

Rapid trades are part of the strategy known as market timing, which takes advantage of brief discrepancies between a fund's share price and its underlying holdings.

Such trading isn't necessarily illegal, but regulators say that if mutual-fund companies with stated policies against timing permitted such trades while profiting from them, that could be a violation of securities laws.

Franklin said the rapid-trading employees included one trader and one officer of the funds. It did not identify them further. Both have been placed on administrative leave and the officer has resigned.

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