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Monday, October 06, 2003

Bands Play on at Baron Meeting

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

At least some fund industry traditions are continuing on as usual despite the growing number of negative headlines. On Friday Ron Baron, founder of Baron Funds, held his annual shareholder shindig at the Waldoff Astoria in New York City.

This year headliners at the luncheon meeting were Paul Simon and Jewel. Baron is known for inviting big name headliners -- including Jerry Seinfeld -- to entertain shareholders.

The meeting came the same day as a second wave of firings hit the industry after Eliot Spitzer won a guilty plea from a trader at hedge fund Millennium Partners on Thursday.

Baron is himself not entirely the holder of a blameless reputation. Earlier this year he agreed to pay a $2.7 million fine to the SEC after the regulators claimed Baron fund managers had manipulated stock prices. Baron neither denied nor admitted wrongdoing in paying the fine.

Based on the success of the meeting, it may be a safe bet that fund investors are not (yet) painting the industry with the broad bush handed them by the New York State attorney general.  

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