Speaking at a compliance conference in Washington D.C., ICI
President Paul Schott Stevens
pledged support for recently approved SEC rules and announced a new chief compliance officer committee within the ICI.
While the corporate governance rule approved by the SEC was the headline darling last week, Stevens' prepared remarks focused on the SEC's earlier compliance ruling.
"While each of the individual rulemakings is highly important in its own right, the compliance rule may have the greatest long-term impact," said Stevens.
The trade group president also summarized the ICI's pre-fund scandal compliance efforts, and called on funds to " take steps to ensure that the kind of abuses uncovered since last September never happens again."
Stevens did not entirely ignore the controversial governance rule, however. Stevens commented that the 3 to 2 vote on the rule, which mandates an independent director supermajority and independent chairman on a fund's board, indicates "this is a subject about which reasonable people, all intent on advancing the interests of fund investors, can disagree."
Acknowledging that the ICI was "pro-choice" on the independent chairman issue, Stevens nevertheless pledged support for the new rule.
"The Institute will devote its efforts to assisting mutual funds to implement fully and effectively all these new governance requirements, just as we will other new rules the Commission adopts," said Stevens.
The ICI is also creating a separate committee for chief compliance officers in ICI member firms. The purpose of the committee, said Stevens, is to give compliance staff the "opportunity to interact with their peers, to share perspectives on the compliance challenges they face, to hone their techniques, and expand their knowledge."
Earlier this year, the ICI created a separate Independent Directors Council. The IDC, which jointly sponsored the conference in Washington, is not run by the ICI. And unlike the chief compliance committee, the IDC may include non ICI-membership, said John Collins, ICI spokesman.
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