Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H. Donaldson commended members of the joint NASD/industry task force on breakpoints Thursday. The task force issued a report Monday recommending reforms across the industry regarding mutual fund purchases (see MME 7/22/03). The recommendations include improving breakpoint disclosure and creating a central database of mutual fund purchases.

"I welcome the recommendations contained in the breakpoint report and fully expect that the industry will continue to work to implement these recommendations," Donaldson said. "Mutual fund investors are saving for education, retirement and other long-term goals. To meet those goals, they must maximize the returns on their investments. It is essential that they receive the correct sales loads on their mutual fund transactions. The SEC staff will monitor the progress of the industry’s implementation of these important initiatives."

The NASD formed the industry task force at the SEC’s request after the NASD examined 43 broker/dealers between November 2002 and this past January. It found that one-third of all purchases eligible for breakpoint discounts did not receive them, primarily because brokers failed to link purchases of various funds within a single fund family or purchases by people related to one another.

Breakpoint discounts are commonly applied to front-end load funds to reduce sales loads at investment levels of $50,000, $100,000 and $250,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000. They can apply to a single transaction, or to transactions made over a period of time.

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