Newly minted Securities and Exchange Commission General Counsel Brain Cartwright told the Mutual Fund Directors Forum that going forward, independent directors would serve as the centerpiece of the mutual fund regulatory regime.

"As independent directors, you are the arbiters of fairness," Cartwright said. He added that since they come from varied backgrounds and bring many different skills to bear, the industry's independent directors would be a vital link between the SEC and fund shareholders, particularly on the topic of disclosure.

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