The role of independent directors of mutual funds has been the subject of considerable debate recently and is the topic of an SEC roundtable this week in Washington. (see box page 36.) MFMN free-lance reporter Lori Pizzani drew together several industry leaders to discuss aspects of the issue.

To begin, Stanislaw ("Stas") Maliszewski, former independent trustee of the Yacktman Funds, told Pizzani some of his ideas about improving mutual fund governance and how better to empower independent trustees who are charged with fund oversight and making decisions in the best interests of shareholders. Pizzani then asked four mutual fund industry leaders (see box) to give their views on Stanislaw's suggestions.

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