Leaders of the mutual fund industry yesterday applauded the appointment of Paul Schott Stevens as the new president of the Investment Company Institute, succeeding Matthew Fink.

And in an interview with Money Management Executive hours after his appointment was announced yesterday, Stevens essentially said he does not intend to rock the boat when he assumes his new position on June 1. When asked whether the ICI might try to assist fund companies in regulators crosshairs, for instance, the career fund attorney replied: "Obviously, if we were asked by the SEC, we would be cooperative, but it’s not something an association such as the ICI normally would ever get into." ( For more on Stevens’ plans as the new leader of the industry’s trade association, see Monday’s edition of MME .)

"Fantastic," "brilliant" and "outstanding" were some of the remarks being made yesterday, in regards to Stevens’ appointment. "He is respected on the Hill and respected by the industry," Don Powell, a former ICI chairman and former CEO of Van Kampen Investments, told Reuters.
"It’s a fantastic choice. He was a superb general counsel," Powell added, referring to the four years Stevens already served at the Institute, from 1993 through 1997, as general counsel.

"We has a very, very good intellectual foundation and thorough understanding of regulation [as well as] a strong desire to see the industry get on the right track," added Allan Mostoff, president of Mutual Fund Directors Forum.

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