Putnam Prevails in 'Proprietary Funds' ERISA Case

Skadden achieved a victory for firm client Putnam Investments on claims alleging that Putnam violated ERISA by including proprietary mutual funds in its in-house 401(k) plan. This case represents the first decision on the merits in a growing wave of "proprietary funds" ERISA cases. After the close of the plaintiffs' case during a bench trial, the court held that Putnam did not breach the ERISA duty of loyalty owed to plan participants, and rejected the plaintiffs' claim that the Putnam plan lineup was per se imprudent.