The independent trustees of Fidelity Investments have named Robert M. Gates as their new chairman, according to The Boston Globe.

Beginning Jan. 1, Gates will be replacing Marvin L. Mann, who recently turned 72, the legal retirement age, as per Fidelity spokeswoman Anne Crowley. If the Securities and Exchange Commission's independent chairman rule goes into effect, Gates will become Fidelity's outside chairman.

"At this point, our view is that independent trustees have complete control of the agenda of our meetings, so we have not felt we have had to address the issue," Gates said.

If the rule does in fact come into effect, it will be a whole other ballgame. Max Rottersman, president of Fundexpenses.com, said that adding the independent chairman responsibilities to Gates may make him more outspoken.

"Once they get the power where they start to think they represent society, it's a different set of rules," he said.

The succession was approved on Dec. 15.

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