From the Editor...
Over the past couple weeks, we've seen school closures around the country, store and restaurants shutdowns, and countless cancelled events—including the ICI's 2020 Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference, which was due to kick off in a week's time in Palm Desert, Calif.—as the race to control the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, in the United States has been stepped up. As we all take care of ourselves and our families, we here at FBV are also staying on top of how the global pandemic is affecting our readers.
The Securities and Exchange Commission nearly two weeks ago provided relief to boards from the in-person voting requirement by which they are normally bound. And whether fund boards are meeting in person in the coming weeks or conducting their business telephonically, coronavirus is most definitely among the discussion points. To help independent directors navigate those discussions, we've provided some guidance from industry experts who say it's important for boards to stay abreast of business continuity planning, short- and long-term impacts on funds, and other possible outcomes from the outbreak. And, exclusively for FBV, K&L Gates LLP Partner Lori Schneider has offered up 10 Things...Boards may consider, ask in coronavirus discussions. We'll keep following the issue and keep you informed along the way.
In other news, the SEC has asked for comments on the so-called Names Rule, and fund governance pros advise board members to take the opportunity to review their own attentiveness to fund names. "If a fund's name seems inconsistent with its investments, then fund directors should be concerned," said Douglas Scheidt, consultant and former associate director and chief counsel in the Division of Investment Management.
Mutual Fund Directors Forum feted President and CEO Susan Wyderko earlier this month at a dinner in Washington, D.C. She doesn't retire until June, but with industry folks in town for MFDF's 2020 Fund Governance & Regulatory Insights conference, it was an opportunity to celebrate Wyderko's contribution to the industry. It was a lovely evening, and one of the last industry gatherings for a while. MFDF also took the opportunity to announce at the conference that Carolyn McPhillips, currently senior counsel, will succeed Wyderko in the top job.
Please give a read to our latest Viewpoints by FUSE Research Network's Bob Kennedy, who has written an educational piece on fulcrum fees. It's a great primer on a subject that may become more prominent going forward.
Stay well. Stay in touch (we're here). Wash hands. Soak up the sun at every opportunity.
Hillary Jackson, founding editor