Some people might accuse mutual fund investors of being lackadaisical when it comes to their funds' boards of directors. Who cares, right?
That is obviously not the case with some
readers, some of whom expressed their concerns following my recent
column on the difficulty of tracking down a fund's directors.
Securities and Exchange Commission
"should make it simple and require the information in the annual reports and prospectuses just like a publicly traded company. The information is always useful," writes
"I absolutely am concerned about fund directors and the current approach whereby they do
protect the stockholders and apparently are overpaid for services rendered," bemoans
. "To whom should I voice my concerns and recommendations?"
Indeed, who do you turn to when you feel a fund's board doesn't measure up?
"Start at the top by all means," recommends Pamela Wilson, an attorney with
Hale and Dorr
Try calling Paul Roye, director of the investment management division at the SEC. The general SEC phone number is 202-942-4144.
The SEC conducted a two-day roundtable last week on the role of fund directors. Roye, the fund industry's chief of police, is preparing a report on the results that will be submitted to SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt within the next 30 days.
You also can try contacting the SEC electronically. On the
SEC's Web site under "Investor Assistance & Complaints," you will find information on how to contact the Commission's Office of Investor Education and Assistance via email. There also is a fax number, another phone number and the mailing address.
Before turning to the federal authorities, you may want to try writing a fund board's chairman or the directors themselves, says Wilson. You can find addresses for the chairman and each director in a fund's statement of additional information. That is precisely why those addresses are there, she adds. (You could also mail any letter care of the fund company, and it should eventually reach that director.)
Remember, a statement of additional information, or SAI, is not typically mailed out to a fund investor. You must specifically request it from a fund company or search for it in the SEC's
If you are going to fire off an old-fashioned, paper-and-stamp letter, you may want to send a copy of it to the SEC as well, just to make sure you are getting your point across.
thinks, "At least the chairman ought to have a public email for shareholders. Compliments and complaints are never acknowledged by the normal 800 numbers."
Perhaps that is a suggestion someone should make to the SEC.
You can always fire off your questions and comments to me at
email@example.com. All I ask is that you include your full name.
TSC Fund Forum aims to provide general fund information. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell funds or other securities.