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Job Losses Feared If Soft Dollars Go

Traders Magazine, February 2004

Gregory Bresiger

Mend it. Don't end it. That's the reaction of some industry executives to the plan to dramatically change the way funds charge their customers - a plan that includes the elimination of soft dollars and directed brokerage. Brokerage industry officials, some of whom have been critical of soft-dollar practices, nevertheless said that the plan by Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Illinois) goes too far. "If they abolished soft dollars, hundreds, maybe thousands of people involved in research services, would likely lose their jobs," Lee Pickard, a Washington lawyer and former SEC official who now works with soft dollar firms, told Traders Magazine. However, he said, at this point, it is unlikely that the Fitzgerald bill would pass. "But if we got a few more mutual fund scandals, yes, then it might pass," Pickard said.

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