This past year was particularly active in terms of mutual fund regulation, according to industry lawyers. A number of initiatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission that had been discussed in recent years, including independent fund director and after-tax reporting issues, came to fruition in 2001.
For starters, the SEC has a new chairman. Harvey Pitt took office as head of the Commission this August, replacing Laura Unger, who served as interim chair following Arthur Levitt's resignation in December of 2000. At Pitt's confirmation hearing in May, he said that he wanted the SEC to lead a review of its regulations, many of which are outdated. At the time, the Investment Company Institute and industry lawyers alike were not sure what specific rules might be changed, and that has not become clearer since. The review will likely happen in 2002, but to what degree it will focus on mutual funds is anyone's guess.