From the Editor...
Back in 2016, we wrote about the Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division serving subpoenas to mutual fund firms affiliated with insurance companies. The regulator was seeking information about firms' recall practices within their securities lending programs to determine if shareholders were harmed when securities were recalled for the purpose of obtaining a tax benefit. Nearly two years on, the SEC has announced charges and a settlement with two investment advisory subsidiaries of Voya Financial, and industry lawyers recommend fund boards—which oversee securities lending programs—respond by asking questions of the advisers with which they work.
Plenty of news comes out of the SEC; where/when appropriate, we bottom line it for independent fund directors by zeroing in on the details that affect the board and the action directors should consider taking.
Another issue we flagged for readers—back in 2015, when we were just getting started—is generational shift. As many of the industry's longest-serving directors hit retirement age and prepare to step out of the boardroom, recruitment and succession planning is in full swing, and the landscape is changing in the process. If you're dealing with this, you're not alone. We continue to report on personnel changes and the processes boards use to cope with the turnover—and loss of institutional knowledge, in many cases—around the table. One board going through it right now is the OppenheimerFunds New York board, and we'll keep an eye on the results as that board searches for new directors and determines its leadership going forward.
Finally, we've got some insight for readers on what Broadridge is planning now that it has acquired Morningstar's 15(c) board consulting business. Those plans include an expanded database and new governance tools, according to Devin McCune, who provides details on what the firm expects to bring to the fund governance market in the near future.
We're hoping to be able to connect in person with some readers next week in San Antonio at the ICI's Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference, so look for Dan Lalor and me. I'd say we'll have our cowboy boots on, but we're from New York/New Jersey, so probably not.
Hillary Jackson, founding editor