With Andrew "Buddy" Donohue taking the helm as director of the Security and Exchange Commission's division of investment management yesterday, industry insiders have begun conjecturing as to what kind of leadership he will provide the mutual fund industry.

While many of his predecessors had distinguished careers at private law firms, elsewhere in the SEC, or with another regulator, Donohue previously served as general counsel for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, and, previous to that, as general counsel for OppenheimerFunds. Executives believe that real-world experience will enable the new director to view the industry from investors' point of view and help it to restore investor trust.

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