The Securities and Exchange Commission voted Wednesday to require mutual funds to disclose breakpoint discounts in their prospectuses and to adopt codes of ethics. On each measure, the vote was 4-0.
Funds will now be required to provide clear information in their prospectuses and Web sites about breakpoints and to let investors know that they may have to supply financial intermediaries with information in order to be able to qualify for these discounts.
In an open meeting Wednesday, prior to the vote, SEC Chairman William Donaldson said the information will enable investors "to take full advantage of breakpoint discounts."
The SEC also voted Wednesday to require registered investment advisors to adopt codes of ethics that set standards of conduct for all personnel and address conflicts that arise from their personal trading. "It is extremely troubling that so much of the conduct that led to the scandals in the mutual fund industry was, at its core, a breach of the fiduciary duty between investment advisers and their advised funds," Donaldson said.