The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has reached an agreement in principle to settle a lawsuit that alleged that MIT, one of the nation’s most prestigious universities, hurt workers in its retirement plan by engaging in an improper relationship with the financial firm Fidelity Investments.
Just days ahead of the start of the trial, MIT and the plaintiffs said in a court filing that they had reached the deal and are asking the court for 45 days in order for the details to be finalized and prepared for consideration by the court.
The lawsuit alleged that MIT went against the advice of its own consultants and allowed Fidelity to pack the university’s retirement plan with high-fee investment funds that ended up costing employees tens of millions of dollars. In return, the lawsuit said, MIT leveraged millions of dollars in donations from Fidelity.
MIT and Fidelity have said the allegations have no merit.
The lawsuit said Fidelity executives took MIT officials on lavish outings, including an NBA Finals game. Court documents show that in 2015, when the university considered other options, an MIT dean emailed the head of an MIT committee overseeing the plan: “If we’re not switching to Vanguard or TIAA Cref, I am going to expect something big and good coming to MIT,” according to the court records.