The Investment Company Institute, noting its disagreements with outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Mary L. Schapiro, lauded the “record of accomplishment” of the woman nominated to succeed her.
The advocate for the fund industry said that SEC Commissioner Elisse B. Walter “brings an extraordinary record of accomplishment in service to investors at both the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.”
Walter is a former senior executive vice president for regulatory policy and programs at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and held the same position at the National Association of Securities Dealers before its 2007 merger with NYSE Member Regulation, which led to the creation of FINRA. She also served as acting chairman of the SEC, before Schapiro took office in 2009.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with her,’’ and the rest of the commission “on a wide range of issues,” ICI chief executive Paul Schott Stevens said, in a formal statement.
Walter succeeds Schapiro “during a critical time for the agency, the financial industry and America’s investors, Stevens said.
Schapiro and the ICI were most notably at odds on whether additional reform of money market mutual funds was needed. That segment of the fund industry underwent a first set of reforms in 2010, in the wake of the run on funds during the credit crisis of fall 2008, when the federal government backstopped the $1.7 trillion industry.
But Schapiro repeatedly argued for more reform, including potentially requiring fund operators to set aside capital buffers, restrict redemptions of shares and letting the net asset value of a share float from the standard $1. That buck-in, buck-out promise has been bedrock promise for the funds, which compete with bank accounts for investors’ savings.
The ICI made no bones about its opposition to the proposals, even as it hosted Schapiro at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in the middle of the eyar. “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,’’ Stevens told Money Management Executive, in an interview. “And, when that's the case, it is our responsibility to make our opposition very clear."
Schapiro dropped the proposals in August, amid strong industry opposition and lack of commissioner support.
Stevens took a conciliatory tone Monday. “While we disagreed with Chairman Shapiro on some issues, we have immense respect for her commitment to public service and the interests of investors,’’ Stevens said.