Fidelity Lets Off Marshall Funds After Error
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Friday, August 05, 2005

Fidelity Lets Off Marshall Funds After Error

From the "watch everything files." A report in Friday's WSJ Fund Track column shows that even when a fund firm is trying to go above and beyond it had better watch what it does.

In July, Marshall & Ilsey sent 2,600 Fidelity Investments account holders a letter to inform them that their financial data was secure, according to the paper. Unfortunately, the letter included the shareholder account numbers on the line above the addressee's name.

That meant that anyone viewing the envelope could plainly see both the account holder name and the account number.

Fidelity told the paper that it has received some calls from clients asking for new account numbers because of the mailing, but that no accounts appear to have been compromised.

So, how did M&I get the names anyway? Fidelity also told the paper that it appears the Marshall Funds obtained the names through its relationship with Fidelity (the Marshall Funds are on Fidelity FundsNet) and that the Marshall Funds then improperly shared the names with its affiliate.

While Fidelity is not taking steps to throw the Marshall Funds off FundsNet, it does insist that fund firms on its shelves protect shareholder information. We would not want to be the next fund firm to make this kind of error.

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