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Rating:SEC Bigwig Tells Fundsters Not to Worry Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, March 18, 2013

SEC Bigwig Tells Fundsters Not to Worry

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

The SEC has launched a new group, called risk and examinations, devoted to in-depth analysis of fund operations. Meanwhile, a growing number of staffers are having conversations with mutual fund executives and fund directors to see where they add value.

It's enough to make a fundster feel a little lightheaded.

Don't worry, was the message SEC investment management chief Norm Champ had for fundsters during Monday presentations at the ICI Investment Management and Mutual Fund Conference held in Palm Springs.

"I understand that exams are anxiety causing, but it is also a chance for improvement," he told members of the audience during a breakout session related to the latest developments in U.S. mutual fund regulation.

The initiatives, which also include the formation of a new team devoted to disclosure and portfolio holdings in both open and closed-end funds, are part of a project titled "IM Moving Forward." This project is aimed bolstering a number of elements in the investment management division.

The goal of many of these initiatives is to "inform policy", Champ said. In short, the more SEC staffers understand the workings of the industry, the better they can develop regulations and regulatory processes.

"We have been thinking about how we can get more information. We don't think we have enough information," he said.

Potential benefits of all of this data-gathering included less onerous filing processes, more practical guidance related to social media disclosures and fund valuations, and so on.

To help firms weather through all of this dialogue, the SEC recently sent out guidance letters informing fundsters on the focus of sweeps related to distribution and 12b-1 fees.

It also hired a new communications lead to get the word out about all of the division's ongoing changes.

However, Champ warned, everyone at his agency is sworn to uphold the law and that it was possible that information gained from these increased dialogues "can become an enforcement matter."  

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