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Monday, March 17, 2014

SEC's Champ: Get to Know Us

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

Norm Champ wants to get up close and personal with the '40 Act Industry.

During a keynote address at the ICI Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference being held here at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, the director of the SEC's Division of Investment Management said that his division is going to interact a lot more with asset managers to get moving on a number of crucial projects this year.

"We are engaging the industry on a number of fronts," he told attendees.

There are a number of subjects on which Champ wants to parley aggressively with the industry, like which direction should the SEC finally go with regards to money market reform. Another hot topic will be TDF glidepaths.

In general, the rule making process is going to be more interactive. Champ wants to hear from more fund executives in regards to all proposed rules and policies. For example, what exactly are the risks that would be addressed by a particular rule or policy? What makes such a proposal urgent, or not? What is driving any proposal, and what kind of resources would be needed to support any such changes.

That's not all, Champ expects fundsters to drive dialogues about innovation through the Division's Exemptive Applications Office. Noting that exemptions in the past had led to the creation of ETFs and money market funds, Champ wanted exemption applications to be the "laboratory" of the industry.

Also, the Division's Risk and Examinations Office will reach out to many more fund firms in order to find new ways to gather data more efficiently.

"Our goal is to not only improve the quality of the data we recieve, but to make the reporting machine more workable, minimally disruptive," he said.

And make no bones about it, Champ wants to hear from fundsters, declaring that everyone needs to "remain deserving of the public's trust." 

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