The annual median compensation for mutual fund directors increased 16% last year from 2005, according to Management Practice’s annual survey of mutual fund director compensation and governance practices. The numbers show a fifth straight year of double-digit growth since the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley in 2002. The Stamford, Conn.-based consulting firm surveyed 1,967 directors from 337 fund families. The annual median total compensation, including retainers plus meeting fees of trustees in the largest families with assets over $80 billion, increased to $171,775. When factoring in the number of funds governed, those with 75 funds or more, the number decreased to $161,625. Directors who oversee firms with $4 billion to $10 billion had compensation increase to $47,075. When measured in terms of the number of funds governed the compensation was $70,000 for directors overseeing 19 to 29 funds. There is a demand for specialized knowledge among directors that has driven overall compensation to record levels, Management Practice noted. The premium for audit committee financial experts, the depth of knowledge required of compliance committee chairs and the securities expertise needed to serve as chair of the investment or performance committee have all driven the fees paid to the independent director higher, Management Practice said.
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