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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

More Lawyers Circle Virtus

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A third law firm is going after Virtus [profile] in the wake of the F-Squared performance-reporting scandal.

Yesterday New York City-based Harwood Feffer unveiled its own investigation of a possible fiduciary breach by the board of directors of Virtus Investment Partners. The move follows the filing by two other law firms of a class-action lawsuit against Virtus over its marketing of F-Squared subadvised mutual funds powered by the strategies involved in the scandal.

A spokesperson for Virtus declined to comment on the investigation, and Harwood Feffer attorney Ben Sachs-Michaels also declined to comment.

In its press release, the law firm explains that the investigation "concerns whether the Company board of directors has breached its fiduciary duties to shareholders, grossly mismanaged the Company, and/or committed abuses of control in connection with the foregoing." The release also specifically mentions the SEC's investigation of key Virtus subadvisor F-Squared, which F-Squared publicly revealed in August 2014, after notifying clients in May and October of 2013. F-Squared settled with the SEC in December 2014, to the tune of $35 million, yet the SEC's broader investigation is still ongoing.

Since September 3, 2015, when reporters picked up on the SEC investigation of F-Squared and published stories about it, Virtus' share price has fallen 42.09 percent to $130 as of yesterday. 

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