Thursday, April 11, 2013

Caught between that proverbial "rock and a hard place."

Here's a bit of a challenge for you.

GIPS(R) (Global Investment Performance Standards) includes the following rule:

What if you're an SEC (U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission) registered firm that has a "40 Act" mutual fund, that has additional fees removed; do you disclose this?

GIPS also has the following rule:

How does this fit in?

Well, there's an SEC "No Action Letter" which, while allowing firms to "gross up" their mutual funds, limits, to some extent, the disclosure of mutual fund membership in composites. If you state something like "We can't disclose that additional fees were removed, because then we'd be letting people know there's a mutual fund in this composite," then you're still letting people know, by virtue of this disclosure, right?

Okay, perhaps I'm taking this to an extreme, but I have no problem if a firm prefers not to disclose that additional fund fees have been deducted, so as to avoid a potential conflict with "the regulator!"


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