SEC examiners have begun informally questioning mutual fund companies on what their funds spend and receive for executing securities trades.

A group of SEC examiners began visiting mutual fund companies in the past two months to discuss the so-called "best execution" of securities trades, Gene Gohlke, associate director of the SEC's inspection division, said last week. The review is expected to continue for several months, Gohlke said. He declined to identify the number of firms expected to be questioned. As a matter of policy, the SEC does not name the firms it is examining.

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