Ending its competitive bidding process, retirement services provider TIAA-CREF appointed Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as its auditor for its 2005 fiscal year. PwC succeeds Ernst & Young as the company's independent accountant. Separately, TIAA-CREF said that Martin Gruber resigned as a trustee of the College Retirement Equities Fund and the TIAA-CREF Funds. Gruber's resignation marked the third resignation of a trustee over the past several months, after regulators launched an inquiry into E&Y's independent relationship with the benefits provider. Two former trustees, William H. Waltrip and Stephen H. Ross, resigned Nov. 30 after a conflict of interest with E&Y was discovered. Ernst will complete CREF's 2004 audits. TIAA-CREF said that it expects no qualified opinions or disagreements on accounting matters with E&Y.

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