The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to re-examine the issue of 12(b)-1 fee reform, Chairman Mary Schapiro pledged at the Mutual Fund Directors Forum Annual Policy Conference in Washington.
I am absolutely committed to a meaningful and open-minded review of Rule 12(b)-1, she told 170 independent mutual fund directors who attended the conference.
The Mutual Fund Directors Forum is located in Washington.
Modification of the controversial fees, which are charged against mutual fund assets to pay for distribution and service expenses, is an area in need of reconsideration, and the SEC will pursue that reconsideration with the interests of investors first and foremost in our minds, Ms. Schapiro said.
However, reforms directly intended to stem the financial crisis have higher priority, she said.
Earlier this year, SEC Division of Investment Management Director Andrew Buddy Donohue said that the SECs review of the fees would be delayed for at least a year, due to more pressing matters of that the SEC must deal with due to the financial crisis.
But the SEC chairman denied that the agency had put off dealing with 12(b)-1 fees.
Theres nothing causing a change, Ms. Schaprio told reporters after her speech.
Its an important issue. We have these short-term things that are very much a direct response to the financial crisis, and would like to get through those, she said.
Ms. Schapiro declined to give a time frame for 12(b)-1 reform.
Theres a practical limitation to how much you can push through the process at one moment, and the SEC agenda is pretty well full for the year, she said.