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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dalia Blass Wants to Talk to You

News summary by MFWire's editors

The asset management industry's top regulator wants more input from fundsters, especially those at smaller firms.

Dalia Osman Blass
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Director of the Division of Investment Management
Last week Dalia Blass, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) division of investment management, told fundsters about two initiatives aimed especially at them: "a new outreach initiative targeted at small and mid-sized fund sponsors," and the possibility of creating "an asset management advisory committee." In other words, Blass wants to hear from you!

Blass shared those two ideas in San Diego at the end of her second annual keynote address at the ICI Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference (ICI MFIM). She framed the ideas in the context of her fears about asset management industry consolidation and fee pressure.

"I am concerned about what it will mean for investors — particularly Main Street investors — if the variety and choice offered by small and mid-sized asset managers becomes lost in a wave of consolidation and fee compression," Blass said, pointing to "technology, efficiencies of scale and investor preferences" as factors driving the change:
Are there barriers making it harder for small and mid-sized fund sponsors to compete? Can the Division do anything to help address that without sacrificing investor protection? Could new technologies, like blockchain, increase access to distribution, and if so, how can we (the staff) help?

Blass touched on a host of other topics, and later that same day the SEC's newest commissioner, Elad Roisman, delivered keynote remarks at that same ICI conference. (Roisman focused specifically on proxy voting.) 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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