From the Editor...
Mutual fund governance professionals have been mourning one of their own in recent weeks, following the death in late August of long-serving independent director Dorothy Berry. Referred to as a "pioneer" in the fund industry who had a "no-nonsense exterior" yet a "nurturing and constructive voice," Berry had a professional career in the asset management business, served on fund boards for decades, and worked in the wider fund governance space through her leadership roles at Investment Company Institute and Independent Directors Council. "She will truly be missed," said IDC Managing Director Amy Lancellotta.
The IDC has published its 2019 Directors Practices Study, which shows that fund director compensation rose in 2018 and fund boards continue to become more diverse as they add more women and people of color. We have exclusive details on the compensation figures and board practices in the member study—and they show an ever-evolving landscape in fund boardrooms across the country.
The market continues to see fallout from a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation launched in 2016 into recall practices associated with securities lending programs of funds linked to insurance companies. In the latest development, two Prudential Financial subsidiaries agreed to pay penalties associated with failure to disclose conflicts of interest and making misleading statements to the board of several funds about recall activities. In 2018, two Voya subsidiaries settled similar charges.
In court, a plaintiff suing Sequoia Fund lost its appeal of the dismissal by a lower court of breach of contract charges. No plaintiff yet has been successful in an attempt to sue the fund for reasons related to its 2015 investments in Valeant Pharmaceuticals, though several have tried.
We're looking for Viewpoints writers! This section on our website includes articles written by industry professionals—lawyers, fund directors, consultants, vendors, etc—for independent mutual fund directors. The topic typically is the writer's choice, though it must pertain to the fund boardroom. And the best part? Viewpoints is not behind our paywall so writers can send a link out to clients and colleagues, and the article will be accessible to anyone who clicks through! Give me a call to discuss writing a piece for FBV: 301-284-1877. I look forward to hearing from you!
Hillary Jackson, founding editor