"Several shareholders in the Hartford Funds brought this lawsuit, alleging that the investment adviser, Hartford Investment Financial Services, was charging excessive investment management and Rule 12b-1 fees, in violation of Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Section 36(b) of the Act imposes a fiduciary duty on investment advisers with respect to the compensation they receive for providing services to mutual funds.
...Plaintiffs allege that Hartford pays sub-advisors to perform "substantially all" of the investment management services that it provides to the Funds, at a fraction of the fees it charges for similar services. The Amended Complaint states that the management fees Hartford charges the Funds are, on average, three times (and sometimes more than five times) the amount Hartford pays its sub-advisors for substantially the same investment management services.
On December 17, 2012, the Court ...concluding that the Plaintiffs' Complaint alleges sufficent facts to create a plausible inference that Hartford's management fees are so disproportionately large that they bear no reasonable relationship to the services rendered and could not have been the product of arm's length bargaining.
...The case now proceeds to trial on the claim of excessive investment management fees."