SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt is scheduled to give the keynote address next month at a special conference for independent mutual fund directors in Washington, D.C.

The Mutual Fund Directors Education Council, a group of academics, fund directors and lawyers, will meet Feb. 17 and 18, said David Ruder, chairman of the council. Senior SEC regulators, including Paul Roye, director of the division of investment management, will participate in the conference, "Crucial Issues for Investment Company Directors."

Lawyers and executives formed the directors council under the auspices of Northwestern University School of Law of Chicago in October at the prodding of Levitt. The group was formed at the same time the SEC proposed changes to rules that govern mutual fund directors. The council's purpose is to promote independence among directors. Ruder, a former SEC chairman, is a law professor at Northwestern.

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