From the Editor...
There is no question that things are constantly changing. It gives us hope and something to look forward to (or not, in some cases). The weather seems to finally be changing into something resembling actual spring, which is a good thing in my book (although I'd be happy to skip right to summer), and also means that there are some industry gatherings coming up. Washington, D.C., will be the place to be for both the Mutual Fund Directors Forum 2017 Policy Conference on April 20-21 and Investment Company Institute's 2017 General Membership Meeting/IDC Fund Directors Workshop on May 3-5. Hope to see you at one or both of these events!
Meanwhile, we've seen some unexpected and more routine changes occurring in the market recently. Long-time industry lawyer Stuart Coleman and his team moved from Stroock over to Proskauer in mid-March, effectively putting their new firm on the map in the '40 Act space. At PIMCO Funds, a new lead independent director has taken the helm and new independent director has stepped into the boardroom. Ronald Parker, the board's longest-serving director, now serves both as LID and Audit Committee Chairman, and Kym Hubbard is PIMCO Funds' newest board member.
In the regulatory realm, a lot seems to be on hold as the financial markets wait for a new Securities and Exchange Commission chair to move into place. Once that happens (nominee Jay Clayton is expected to be confirmed later this month), there are still two open seats on the Commission to fill. Still, market participants are obviously continuing to function, and at the Independent Directors Council, plans are in the works to re-submit a nearly 10-year-old letter requesting the SEC conduct a full review of fund boards' responsibilities in order to determine whether some can be eliminated or delegated. IDC hasn't said when it will act, but we'll keep readers posted.
And in the courts, the concept of attorney-client privilege as it pertains to fund directors and their counsel continues to be under attack. The latest call for fiduciary exception took place in the 36(b) case against Calamos Advisors, and a judge will hear arguments this week. This instance and one in the case against Great-West Capital Management—in which the judge denied a motion to compel the Great-West board to turn over material it said was privileged—follow a ruling last year in Kenny v. PIMCO, and these developments have got independent fund directors and their lawyers reviewing how they communicate.
We're always looking for new contributors to our Viewpoints section, so please let me know if you've got something fund governance-related you'd like to write about. This section is not behind our paywall and therefore accessible to whomever clicks on it.
Hillary Jackson, founding editor