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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

NASD Chief Calls for Fund Task Force

by: Theresa Sim

The NASD is creating a new mutual fund task force effective this month, said Robert Glauber, chief executive and chairman of the organization. The announcement was made during Glauber's speech at the NASD's spring conference in Baltimore, Maryland on Wednesday.

"Transparency will be at the heart of its mission," said Glauber.

The task force, the brainchild of SEC and NASD staff, will draw on people working in the fund industry as well as brokers selling funds.

Task force members will likely start work by the end of June, and start work in two phases, announced the NASD. "In the first, [the task force] will consider mutual fund portfolio transaction costs, including directed brokerage arrangements, soft dollars and transaction cost measurement and disclosure...[i]n the second phase, the members will focus on distribution arrangements, including investor understanding of 12b-1 fees and other costs," said Glauber.

SEC Chairman William Donaldson also addressed the attendees on Wednesday; Senator Paul Sarbanes (D, Maryland), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, is slated to speak on Thursday. 

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