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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Is Clayton Anti-12b-1?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Fee disclosure issues will continue to be top of mind at the SEC, despite a change in leadership earlier this year.

Yesterday, in a speech in New York at the Practicing Law Institute's annual institute on securities regulation, SEC chairman Jay Clayton highlighted fee disclosure as one of his regulatory priorities. "Complex, obscure, or hidden fees and expenses" are in the regulatory agency's crosshairs, he said.

As pay-for-play arrangements and indirect fees fall out of favor in the industry, more and more investors are using funds that do not include revenue sharing like 12b-1 or sub-TA fees. And if Clayton's remarks are any indication, he's going to be cheering on that shift. In his speech, Clayton specifically highlighted the use of mutual fund share classes with 12b-1s when cheaper share classes are available when he talked about the SEC continuing "to be active in pursuing cases where hidden or inappropriate fees are at issue."

"We are also exploring whether more can be done to clarify fee disclosures made to retail investors, and, thereby, deter and reduce the opportunities for misbehavior," Clayton said.

Clayton's speech addressed a host of other topics, including the SEC's work on creating a new, online, searchable database of people who have been barred or suspended from the securities industry. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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