From the Editor...
Most people seem to agree that diversity—in whatever form it takes and in most settings—is a good thing. Studies have concluded that businesses run by a diverse team perform better and achieve better results overall. The sticking point? How do you fairly assemble a diverse group of people, and in the mutual fund governance world, how do you put together a diverse board? What does "diverse" even mean?
Well, it can—and does—mean a lot of things. At Invesco Funds, the board set out on its recent recruitment efforts with a specific goal in mind: To attract the best people while considering a diverse set of candidates. The result? A group of 13 independent directors that includes four women and two people of color from an array of professional backgrounds. This didn't happen by chance; it was a deliberate exercise that led to some learning along the way and some fine-tuning of the process, all while ensuring that each candidate competed on a level playing field. Senior Officer Russell Burk provides insight to our readers in FBV's latest A Seat at the Table feature.
Meanwhile, things also are changing in the Goldman Sachs boardrooms. Long-time Chairman Ashok Bakhru is getting ready to retire at the end of the year, which means new leadership for the five boards he has been overseeing. Bakhru already has stepped off a couple of GS boards, and his successor recently was named to Goldman's open-end funds board. One more board, which oversees Goldman's business development corporation, will elect a successor in the months to come.
In other news, directors saw an increase in compensation in 2016 but not as big an increase as in recent years. That said, the 5.2% rate of growth is still well above post-financial crisis levels. The Investment Company Institute's general counsel, David Blass, is moving to the private sector, joining Simpson Thacher's Investment Funds Practice this month. And, we've compiled a list of 10 Things...Boards should ask about the DoL fiduciary rule. Implementation begins this week.
As we head into summer, we'll continue to report on goings-on in the fund governance space. Let us know if there's something you're interesting in reading about or questions you have that we may be able to get answers to. We're always happy to hear from readers.
Hillary Jackson, founding editor