From the Editor...
Long-serving independent director Jamie Baxter is getting ready to step off the Putnam Funds and Mutual Fund Directors Forum boards next year when she hits Putnam's mandatory retirement age. No word yet on her replacement on that board, but MFDF has named a new chair of its board and also looks to be preparing for more changes as a couple of board members also approach retirement.
Changes also are taking place at Sequoia Fund, which lost two independent directors when an investment the fund made in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International went bad two years ago. The boardroom now has a new chairman, and two new independent directors have joined in the past year to restore the board to full strength.
Meanwhile, the mutual fund community is mourning yet another loss, with the recent passing of K&L Gates' Dick Phillips following so closely the death of Perkins Coie's Marty Lybecker. Phillips, who began his career in the industry nearly 60 years ago at the SEC, died in mid-September at the age of 86. Friends and colleagues referred to him as a "true visionary" who shaped the industry in which they practice today.
And finally, Deloitte has published its annual survey on valuation practices, which showed—among other things—that mutual fund boards are reviewing information regarding price challenges more frequently than ever before and are seeing more information in general via a dashboard format. This annual exercise sheds light on fund boards' valuation practices and policies and reveals trends among independent fund directors who sit in the nation's boardrooms.
Speaking of surveys, we also reported recently on the results of Independent Directors Council's annual Directors Practices Study, which provides insight into compensation and other issues among fund boards. You'll only read about it here at Fund Board Views.
Please get in touch if there's an issue you want to read about—or a topic you'd like to write about for our Viewpoints section, which features content written for us by industry professionals. We'd love to hear from you!
Hillary Jackson, founding editor