On October 30, the Forum published Practical Guidance for Fund Boards: Board Governance and Review of Investment Advisory Agreements. The report updates the general board governance items as well as board review of fund advisory contracts from the Forum’s original July 2004 report, Best Practices and Practical Guidance for Fund Directors. The update retains the relevant and helpful information from the original report, supplemented with new legal developments as well as the evolution of board practices.
The “best practices” described in the original 2004 report were developed at the request of then-SEC Chairman William Donaldson and covered board review of management agreements; soft dollars, directed brokerage, and revenue sharing arrangements; valuation and pricing; and conflicts of interest between funds and advisers. Since that initial report, the Forum has published reports on more discrete topics, including risk oversight, proxy voting, securities lending, and oversight of Rule 12b-1 (which was included in the original request from the SEC, but not addressed until 2007). Last year, given directors’ intense interest in valuation, the valuation section was updated and published as a stand-alone report.
Practical Guidance for Fund Boards: Board Governance and Review of Investment Advisory Agreements is available here. All of the Forum’s reports are available on the Forum’s website.