Law broadens fiduciary protectionA bill to give people...

BUSINESS DIGEST

May 27, 1994

Law broadens fiduciary protection

A bill to give people with fiduciary investment powers further protection against lawsuits was signed into law by Gov. William Donald Schaefer yesterday. The so-called "Prudent Investor Rule" broadens the investment guidelines that are considered prudent for trustees and other fiduciaries who invest securities on behalf of another person.

The bill, sponsored at the behest of the state banking industry, protects fiduciaries against lawsuits based on any individual investment decision, and instead requires the court to assess the performance of an entire portfolio. Bankers say the law will give trustees more flexibility to adapt their investments to changing conditions and use modern investment securities if

appropriate.

First-time jobless claims fall

The number of Americans applying for the first time for state unemployment benefits fell by 1,000 last week, the government reported yesterday, the second straight decline. The Labor Department said a seasonally adjusted 366,000 people filed first-time claims in the week ended May 21.

Antitrust laws may widen reach

Efforts to modify the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which exempts insurance companies from anti-trust rules, advanced yesterday when Rep. Jack Brooks, D-Texas, said he would introduce such a bill after the Memorial Day holiday.

Mr. Brooks, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has already gained the support of many insurance companies, consumer groups and the Justice Department.

Supporters say the bill will produce more diversity in prices and types of insurance policies.

Some insurance companies, including small- and medium-sized companies represented by the National Association of Independent Insurers, remain opposed to the proposal.

Comsat may buy company

Comsat Corp. said yesterday that if stockholders approve the company's acquisition of Radiation Systems Inc. next Friday, each share of RSI common stock will be exchanged for 0.78 shares of Comsat stock. Bethesda-based Comsat's stock closed yesterday at $23.50, up 12.5 cents. Radiation Systems is a manufacturer of radar, satellite and other electronic equipment.

Digital executive resigns

Digital Equipment Corp., the nation's money-losing third-largest computer company, yesterday denied a report that it was using up its cash reserves too quickly but also announced the abrupt resignation of its chief financial officer.

Digital said William Steul, 51, will be replaced by Vincent Mullarkey, 46, its corporate controller.

The announcement of Mr. Steul's departure came only hours after a Wall Street Journal article that cited a confidential memo written last month by Digital's treasurer warning that the company was using up cash too quickly.

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