Stevens on stage at ICI GMM 2012.

The Investment Company Institute, which lobbied heavily against money market regulatory changes that were supported by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, said it was “pleased” that the commission was dropping its plans to pursue those changes.

ICI President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens said, “Like hundreds of other organizations that have submitted their views, we have strongly opposed the structural changes to money market funds under consideration at the SEC, because of the adverse consequences of these proposals for investors, issuers and the economy. The exhaustive record before the Commission clearly does not support these changes. We are pleased with the recent announcement that the Commission will not be pursuing them further.”  

Separately, a spokesman for Fidelity Investments said: “We believe that fund shareholders and the economy benefit from the fact that there is no current plan for further regulation of money market mutual funds.”

Christopher Donahue, CEO Federated Investors commented: “We believe SEC commissioners made an appropriate policy decision in choosing not to pursue at this time new rules that would have ended money market mutual funds as we know them with potentially severe consequences to our financial system.  The changes the SEC made to Rule 2a-7 in 2010 sufficiently strengthened the resiliency of money funds by enhancing regulations that improved important areas including liquidity and transparency—changes that successfully held up when put to the test in the past year by the Greek debt crisis and euro-jitters, the U.S. budget/debt ceiling impasse and downgrade, and general financial market turmoil. Thousands of institutional and individual investors shared their concerns about more draconian changes to money funds and voiced their appreciation of a product that has been a crucial part of the American financial marketplace for 40 years.  Finally, we want to recognize the outstanding job the SEC has achieved in regulating money market funds throughout the history of the product.”

In his statement, Stevens also said that “the Investment Company Institute and all its members have the utmost respect for Chairman Schapiro and the work that she, her fellow Commissioners, and all the SEC staff do to benefit investors. We have worked collaboratively with the SEC on regulatory issues for many years, and we will continue to do so. “

In an interview this summer with Money Management Executive, Stevens discussed the ICI's conflict with the SEC over the issue: "earlier this year... the SEC said, well, we've decided what we're going to propose. There were two ideas: a floating NAV and a combination of capital buffers and redemption restrictions. Those were presented to us as non-negotiable, and at that point we concluded, if that's the case, then there's not a lot to talk about. We have strong reservations about both, and we believe that either would fundamentally alter the character of the product and industry. For that reason, it signaled an end to what had been years of collaborative exploration. We don't particularly like or relish that posture vis-à-vis the SEC. But there are times when we fundamentally disagree with ideas that regulators have-that we do not think are in the best interest of our investors. And, when that's the case, it is our responsibility to make our opposition very clear."

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.