From the Editor...

March 4, 2024

By Hillary Jackson

From the Editor...


Big news out of the Securities and Exchange Commission last week: William Birdthistle is leaving the Division of Investment Management after just over two years in the top job. Birdthistle was an unusual choice when he was named in December 2021 to replace former director Dalia Blass, who had left the agency nearly a year before. He is a career academic and was known as an outspoken critic of the mutual fund industry (including fund boards) and has acted as an expert witness for plaintiffs suing industry participants for allegedly violating Section 36(b) of the '40 Act. Read our story for details on his time at the IM Division and his replacement, who was named at the same time Birdthistle's departure was announced.


In other regulatory news, the SEC recently announced a settlement with Van Eck Associates that involved a novel exchange-traded fund (the Van Eck Social Sentiment ETF), a controversial social media influencer (Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy), a unique sliding scale fee structure, and the 15(c) process. We asked some fund industry lawyers what boards might take away from this unique situation—don't miss what they had to say.


We're two-thirds of the way through a three-part series on distribution practices, with the latest—and last—installment due to be published this coming Friday, March 8. Fund industry veteran John Krieg has authored the series, which is running in our Viewpoints section, and he provides a lot of food for thought. Don't miss it!


Also, don't miss our latest PDF of stories published in February. This format can help you catch up quick, as it provides all of our recent content in one easy-to-read place. 


For now,


Hillary Jackson, founding editor



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