Welcome to the Bekker v. Neuberger Berman Group 401(k) Plan Investment Committee Settlement Website
U.S. Federal Court for the Southern District of New York
Case No. 16-cv-06123-LTS-BCM
|The final approval hearing for this settlement is November 19, 2020. On November 2, 2020, the Court ordered the final approval hearing be conducted by telephone. Therefore, you should not attend in person at the Courthouse. Class members and members of the public wishing to listen to the final approval hearing should dial-in at 10am ET on November 19 by calling 888-363-4734, using access code 1527005#, security code 4158#, and identifying themselves when asked to do so. Class Members wishing to speak must also follow the procedures identified in the Class Notice as found in the Case Documents on this website.
Your rights may be affected by the legal proceedings in this action if you are a person or entity who:
Participated in the Neuberger Berman Group 401(k) Plan (the “Plan”) and invested some or all of your Plan account in the Neuberger Berman Value Equity Fund (“VEF”) between June 15, 2010 and December 16, 2019.
Plaintiff Arthur Bekker (“Plaintiff”) sued the Neuberger Berman Group 401(k) Plan Investment Committee (the “Committee” or “Defendant”) in the U.S. Federal Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a class of persons who participated in the Plan and invested some or all of their Plan account in the VEF between June 15, 2010 and December 16, 2019 (the “Class”).
The complaint alleges that Defendant violated its fiduciary duties by continuing to offer the VEF in the Plan after it began charging fees to participants and after its performance weakened. Plaintiff alleges that there were superior, less expensive investment options available that Defendant should have chosen for the Plan. Plaintiff also alleges that, once the VEF began charging fees, the payment of those fees constituted transactions prohibited by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Defendant denies all allegations of wrongdoing, fault, liability or damage to the Plaintiff and the Class and denies that it engaged in any wrongdoing or violation of law or breach of fiduciary duties. Defendant maintains that it acted in the best interests of Plan participants at all times and complied with its fiduciary obligations to the Plan and its participants. Among other things, Defendant contends that the Plan fiduciaries employed a robust and thorough process for selecting, monitoring, and removing Plan investment options and for monitoring fees.
To avoid the time and expense of further litigation, Plaintiff and Defendant have agreed to resolve the litigation. The Settlement is the product of extensive negotiations between the parties, who were assisted in their negotiations by a neutral private mediator. The parties have taken into account the uncertainty and risks of litigation and have concluded that it is desirable to settle on the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement and Release dated June 10, 2020 (the “Settlement Agreement”).
If the Settlement is approved by the Court, the Class will obtain the benefits of the Settlement without the further delay and uncertainty of additional litigation. The Settlement resolves all issues regarding the Plan’s inclusion of the VEF and its fees from June 15, 2010 through December 16, 2019, when the VEF was removed from the Plan