Category: Conferences and Events, Industry Trends

Board Reporting: Striking the Right Balance


Balance---160375062Funds have experienced a dramatic shift in the way they report to their boards. “Less is more” was the norm.  Now, with increased regulatory focus, fund boards need greater transparency.

What information do board members need?  When is it not enough?  When is it too much?  Fund companies are challenged with providing the right balance and ensuring they are meeting the evolving needs of fund boards.

At Boston Financial, we service almost 100 fund families so we are in the unique position of presenting to various, diverse fund boards.  While all boards have different perspectives and requirements, there is something they have in common – they want more information and transparency to fulfill their oversight responsibilities.

From a transfer agency perspective, some of the common themes for board reporting include fee payments, service metrics, business continuity, and cyber security.

Our objective is to ensure the boards are confident that we are helping them meet their requirements. As the fiduciary of the funds, we are protecting the reputation of their firm, and meeting the service requirements of their shareholders and intermediaries.

I will be moderating a board reporting panel prior to the ICI Mutual Fund and Investment Management Conference program on March 17. We’ll discuss the trends we’ve seen and areas that are critical to boards and prevalent across the industry.  Some of the points that will be reviewed are:

  • Due diligence reporting of intermediaries
  • What information is available? What is most prevalent for boards?
  • How do firms compile and analyze the data and share the results with the Board?
  • What are the hot topics in board reporting?  Fee payments, concentration of assets, geographic distribution scope, follow-up on disciplinary issues, prospectus delivery?
  • How do funds approach board reporting of other service providers, including transfer agents and custodians?

I’m looking forward to an interactive discussion on these topics in addition to working with our esteemed panelists:

Steve Ganis, Of Counsel, Mintz Levin

David James, Vice President and Managing Counsel, State Street

Julia Short, President and CEO, RidgeWorth Funds

Cheryl Wichers, Chief Compliance Officer, Russell Investments

I’ll blog again after the conference to share some of the highlights from our panel.  I’d also like to hear your thoughts.  What’s keeping you up at night when it comes to board reporting?  What are some of the biggest changes and trends you’ve seen?  Share your comments below!

Mike McNeill

Mike McNeill

Mike is a member of the senior relationship management team. He is focused on enhancing client relationships and collaborating on business solutions to address the evolving needs of the industry and regulatory landscape. Mike has over 25 years of experience in the mutual fund industry. Prior to joining Boston Financial, he served as senior vice president of investor services at Putnam Investments. Previous to Putnam Investments, Mike was at Pioneer Investments and American Express - The Shareholder Services Group. Mike currently serves on the Investment Company Institute (ICI) Broker-Dealer Advisory Committee. An active member of the National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA) and ICI, Mike has served as a speaker and moderator for internal and external events as well as a spokesman for the company on mutual fund industry topics with a focus on intermediary relationships and oversight.

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