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Thursday, January 16, 2003

SEC Schedules Proxy Rule Vote

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to take up the issue of requiring fund firms to disclose how they vote proxies at its meeting on January 22. The proxy rule vote next Wednesday could be the final one taken by the commissioners.

This week both John Brennan and Ned Johnson started a media campaign to express their opposition to the proposed rules. At the same time Representative Michael Oxley (R, Ohio), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee has gone on the record supporting the SEC's proposed regs.

That Republican members of Congress are taking sides against the fund industry may hint that the industry will be in for closer scrutiny no matter which way the SEC commissioners vote on the issue.

The speculation, though, is that the rule is likely to pass as SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt would not be likely to put an issue to a vote unless he were sure it has the required votes for passage. Three of the five commissioners must vote in support of the regs for them to be approved. 

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