From the Editor...
Everybody seemed to be talking about GameStop last week—friends, family, co-workers (even my kids!)—so we spoke to mutual fund industry lawyers about whether fund boards should also be talking about it. The short answer: Yes. The substance and depth of the conversation will depend on a number of factors that are spelled out in our story, so don't miss it.
Another topic that is getting a lot of air and ink time is the process of converting open-end mutual funds to exchange-traded funds. We covered this issue in-depth in a Viewpoints in 2019, and more recently in our easy-to-read 10 Things... list format. Be sure to check out 10 Things...to ask about open-end fund-to ETF conversion and Board considerations in converting open-end funds into ETFs, by Ropes & Gray's Brian McCabe and Teo Larsson-Sax.
As is usually the case, we've seen some beginning-of-the-year changes in a number of fund boardrooms lately. Principal Funds added three new independent directors; USAA Funds named an independent chairman, two and a half years after installing an interested director at the helm; and Nationwide Funds saw a change in leadership in its boardroom following a year-end retirement. We cover these changes so readers can get a glimpse into what types of individuals are getting hired to oversee funds, how and why boards are making the decisions they are, and how boards are approaching succession planning, recruiting, hiring, and onboarding in this virtual environment. We hope you find it useful.
In our latest Viewpoints, Practus LLP's Ethan Corey takes a look at a possible avenue for the plaintiff's bar to relaunch fee litigation now that the recent wave of 36(b) cases has wound down following the end-of-2020 dismissal of the last case—against T. Rowe Price Associates—still in pre-trial mode. We're looking for Viewpoints writers, so please get in touch if you'd like to be published in FBV. The section is not behind our paywall, so it's a great way to get some exposure.
Finally, tomorrow is Groundhog Day. I love summer, so here's hoping the little critter sees no shadow in the morning!
Hillary Jackson, founding editor