With increasing regulation on the minds of mutual fund investors, independent fund directors are becoming better practiced at speaking their minds, The Wall Street Journal reports.

At a meeting of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum, in fact, independent directors chastised the use of soft dollars, one of the more contentious topics in the new debate on increased regulation. The group has previously railed for more independent fund boards, and is currently discussing how to rid funds of 12b-1 fees, which mask fees paid by investors. Later this year, in fact, they are supposed to submit a recommendation on the 12b-1 fees.

One previously underutilized method that the directors are starting to use, according to the Journal, are closed-door, face-to-face meetings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "We want the independent directors engaged and involved," Paul Roye, head of the SEC's Division of Investment, told The Journal. "And we have seen a steady increase in communication and contacts with independent directors."

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