While the mutual fund industry wrangles with the upcoming independent chairman rule, TIAA-CREF has commissioned a study that will look at two other fund governance issues that have escaped regulators' attention: whether ownership of a fund by directors improves performance and whether revenue sharing lowers it.

Qi Chen, an assistant professor of business administration at Duke University, and Wei Jiang, an assistant professor of finance and economics at Columbia University, plan to pore through the statements of additional information (SAIs) in more than 1,200 fund prospectuses to learn more about the effects of fund ownership by directors and whether aggressive mutual fund growth comes at the expense of fund returns.

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