Two senior executives of Banc One Investment Advisors left in the wake of an internal investigation following allegations by Eliot Spitzer, New York attorney general, that the bank permitted improper and illegal mutual fund trading by Canary Partners.
John AbuNassar, head of the institutional asset management group of Banc One Investment Advisors, left the firm, according to a memo sent to employees by David Kundert, CEO of asset management. Julie Crothers, a spokeswoman, confirmed Mr. AbuNassar's departure but said she could not comment further. Norm Cook, institutional sales director, will replace Mr. AbuNassar. Ms. Crothers said it is not clear yet whether Mr. Cook will be replaced.
Mark Beeson, president of the One Group, Banc One's mutual fund family, resigned, according to a memo sent to employees by Jamie Dimon, CEO of parent Bank One. Mr. Kundert assumed Mr. Beeson's duties.
Mr. Dimon told employees in a memo that the internal investigation found that Canary Partners was permitted to trade 11 Banc One funds more frequently than other clients. Canary's trading privileges ended in May and the hedge fund's investment in Banc One funds average 0.5% of the funds' assets and was not higher than 1% at any time. Mr. Dimon said if investors were found to be harmed, full restitution will be made. Bank One's investigation has not found similar mutual fund trading arrangements with other hedge funds or evidence of after-market trading arrangements.