Ameriprise Financial agreed to pay $15 million to settle market-timing charges brought by the SEC, the regulator announced today. The company, previously known as American Express Financial Corp., agreed to put the money in a fund for shareholders hurt by the company's market-timing actions. The company allowed market timing, although its prospectus at the time specifically said the company banned such preferential treatment for some clients.
Ameriprise also agreed to a $12.3 million fine by NASD for giving preferential treatment to mutual fund companies that directed trades though the company. The NASD charged that American Express Financial allowed such quid-pro-quo transactions between January 2001 and December 2003 and that the mutual fund companies paid extra fees for the preferential treatment.
Separately, the SEC also reached a settlement with Millennium Partners and its affiliates for a scheme to market time mutual funds. Millennium Partners and its affiliates will pay $180 million in fines and provide restitution to investors hurt by the actions and agreed to undertake compliance reforms to prevent a recurrence, according to the SEC.