Lawsuit Against Dreyfus Wins Class Action Status

NEW YORK - A U.S. judge has given a green light to a class action by mutual fund shareholders against Dreyfus Corp., a unit of Mellon Financial Corp. in Pittsburgh.In an order dated Jan. 5, Judge Harold Baer of the U.S. district court here ruled that the plaintiffs could proceed with allegations that Dreyfus breached its fiduciary duty in violation of state and federal securities laws.

The suit, filed in June 1998, alleges that Michael L. Schonberg, who managed two aggressive growth funds for Dreyfus, which is based in New York, made trades in the funds to benefit his personal holdings. Dreyfus which manages $117.4 billion of mutual fund assets, placed Mr. Schonberg on administrative leave in April 1998.

Judge Baer's ruling came in response to a motion filed by Dreyfus to dismiss the case. The judge threw out five additional claims that had been filed by the group under the Investment Company Act of 1940.

- Amy L. Anderson

Invest Promotes 3 Execs To Succeed Its President

TAMPA - Invest Financial Corp., a third-party mutual fund marketer, has appointed three regional presidents to succeed president C. Roger Allen, 52, who resigned Jan. 10.Gregory F. Broadbridge will oversee client relationships in the Southeast, Douglas K. Dorn in the Midwest/West region, and Robert E. Summa in the Northeast.

All three were regional vice presidents at Invest. They will report to Robert R. Blagojevich, chairman and chief executive officer of Invest's parent, IFC Holdings Inc. of Tampa.

Mr. Blagojevich said he used Mr. Allen's resignation as an opportunity to restructure the company in a way that "focuses us more on the customer." He declined to discuss why Mr. Allen left but said that his departure was "amicable."

- Amy L. Anderson

Citigroup to Close Del. Insurance Unit by Aug.

NEW YORK - Citigroup Inc. plans to shut down its Dover, Del., insurance unit by Aug. 1, a spokeswoman said Thursday.Citicorp Insurance Group, which employs 80 people, will be folded into the company's larger insurance operation because of overlap created by Citicorp's October 1998 merger with Travelers Group.

About 40 credit life insurance employees from the Delaware office will be offered positions in Citigroup's Fort Worth, Tex., insurance arm. Some life insurance employees will be offered positions in Hartford, and the remaining positions will be eliminated, the spokeswoman said.

Catherine Mulholland, site manager, and Chad H. Masland, senior vice president of the Delaware unit, are expected to leave, according to a source close to the financial services company.

- Cheryl Winokur

ING Group Combines 2 Asset Management Units

AMSTERDAM - ING Group has merged two of its asset management arms.ING Group said Thursday that BBL Asset Management has been merged into ING Investment Management. The combined unit manages about $175 billion of assets.

- Cheryl Winokur

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