Now that Putnam Investments has reduced fees to keep up with larger competitors, the looming questions are whether other midsize fund companies will be compelled to do the same (odds are, yes) and whether this will work (early predictions say no).

The Boston fund company announced plans Tuesday to cut fees on retail mutual funds. Jeff Carney, a managing director and the head of global marketing, products and retirement for the unit of Canada's Power Financial Corp., said the company hopes its price-cutting will help it rebuild assets under management. It managed $102.8 billion at June 30, down 40.2% from a year earlier.

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