From the Editor...
There's a lot of talk amongst mutual fund directors and fund governance professionals about diversity and inclusion in the boardroom. Many boards have made concerted efforts to increase the number of women and people of color around the table, though not all have done so. In our latest A Seat at the Table feature, we spoke with William Dietrich, lead independent director of Chicago-based Ariel Funds, about how his board approaches diversity when recruiting. The board recently added former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, so the issue is top of mind.
We spent last week in San Diego with hundreds of other industry members at the Investment Company Institute's 2019 Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference, and it was a great time—and newsworthy. Dalia Blass, Division of Investment Management director at the Securities and Exchange Commission, delivered the keynote speech at the beginning of the conference and said she and her staff would target small and mid-sized advisers and boards in its ongoing outreach program. The goal, she said, is to identify the challenges that segment of the market faces in trying to compete against larger advisers and staying viable going forward.
And in the courts recently, the fund industry has had a couple of wins. First, the plaintiffs in an excessive fees case against BlackRock lost an appeal of a lower court's decision in favor of BlackRock, and then a few days later, another appeals court affirmed a lower court's dismissal of an excessive fees case against JPMorgan. Both decisions are being celebrated by the industry, though the concurrence in the JPMorgan case has rubbed some litigators the wrong way.
Finally, be sure to read our latest 10 Things... list on female directors on the boards of the largest asset managers.
It really was great to connect in person with so many of you out in California. Hope to see you in May in Washington, D.C., at the ICI General Membership Conference—if not sooner!
Hillary Jackson, founding editor