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Bentley College Center for Business Ethics and Babson-United, Inc.

November 2, 1998

WALTHAM, MASS.- To heighten the awareness of college students and others on the ethical issues in financial reporting, the Babson-United Inc. Essay Prize in Ethical Financial Reporting has been created by Babson-United in collaboration with the Bentley College Center for Business Ethics. Babson-United selected Bentley's center as its partner in this initiative after a review of more than a dozen academic institutions. Bentley College is the largest business school in New England.

Richard Babson (l) and W. Michael Hoffman

Student essays nominated for the $1000 prize are expected to focus on ethics of financial reporting and the role of the financial media. For example, said W. Michael Hoffman, executive director of the Center for Business Ethics, a nominee might analyze the case of Orange County's speculative use of derivative securities and the issue of full disclosure to an unsophisticated investing public. Students could include a discussion of the ethical responsibilities of the investment bankers in selling the derivatives to a municipality. Investigative themes might focus on similar cases of financial wrongdoing and how they came to light. Nominated papers may also explore the connection between market efficiency and ethical financial journalism. Finally, papers could investigate the broader issue of financial reporting difficulties with respect to derivative securities and the resulting loop holes managers can use to avoid full disclosure.

This first year, the Bentley College/Babson-United Essay Prize will be awarded to a student in the Bentley College Graduate School of Business. Submissions must be written during the student's current degree program.

"To wade through the growing world of information-based arbiters, investors need reporting standards that are sound and accurate," said Richard Babson, chairman and president of Wellesley Hills-based Babson-United, Inc. "Inappropriate methods generate misleading results that lead people to take foolish risks, or to miss sound strategies. That is the ethical dimension of poor methodology. I applaud the eagerness of Bentley's Center for Business Ethics to promote scholarly examination and dialogue on these issues."

Michael Hoffman said, "We are very grateful and proud to be the recipient of Babson-United's award, especially since Babson-United conducted a national search for the best institute to which the award should be given. The prize will heighten our students' awareness of business ethics in general and of financial reporting in particular and advance the center's efforts to integrate ethics throughout Bentley's business curriculum."

Nominations must be received by April 2, 1999. For further information, contact Mary Chiasson at 781-891-3480 at the Bentley College Center for Business Ethics.

Babson-United, Inc. has provided independent, unbiased information and advice about financial markets, economics and investment opportunities since 1904. The company's subsidiary, Babson-United Investment Advisors, Inc., provides personalized investment counseling and management services. Babson-United Publishing, a division of Babson-United, Inc., publishes the oldest investment advisory newsletter in the country as well as stock chart products under the brand name Securities Research Company (SRC). SRC stock charts combine technical and fundamental data in a unified graphical display for long-term investors. Babson-United is not affiliated with the Babson mutual funds.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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