Top Executive at Edward Jones to Step Down

More on $75  million Edward Jones settlement.

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Edward D. Jones & Co.  LP's top executive
is stepping down at the end of next year,  agreeing to pay
about $3 million of a $75 million settlement  with the
Justice Department over claims tied to the  company's mutual
fund sales practices.

Douglas Hill's planned exodus as managing  general partner
-- a title he has held for a year -- was revealed  Monday in
a filing by the suburban St. Louis-based brokerage firm with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

The announcement came nearly a week after  Edward Jones
agreed to pay $75 million to settle allegations  of improper
disclosure of revenue-sharing payments. In  Monday's filing,
the company called Hill's roughly $3 million  payout ``a
disproportionate share.''

The company, which did not specify possible  payouts by any
other executives, said it would take a $50  million charge
against its fourth-quarter earnings. The other  $25 million
will come from existing legal reserves.

In a letter Monday to Edward Jones employees,  60-year-old
Hill said he will remain a partner with the  company after
vacating his management position "and  contribute as
effectively as I can to the success of the  firm.''

Hill said he agreed to "voluntarily  retire,'' though the
settlement agreement calls for a "reconstituted''  Edward
Jones executive committee. Monday's SEC filing  also noted
that two general partners of The Jones Financial  Cos. LLP,
Darryl Pope and Michael Holmes, will retire  Friday. Both
were members of the executive committee.

"As you can imagine, when I was named  to this position I
expected to hold it until reaching the firm's  mandatory
retirement age of 65,'' Hill wrote in Monday's  letter. In
retiring, "I agreed to this condition  to clear the way for
a settlement of these issues so all of us  can put the
dispute behind us and focus on helping our  clients meet
their long-term financial needs.''

 
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