The Institute engages in three core missions: encouraging adherence to high ethical standards by all industry participants; advancing the interests of funds, their shareholders, directors, and investment advisers; and promoting public understanding of mutual funds and other investment companies.
These three objectives are essential organizing principles for the many and varied activities in which the Institute participates on behalf of funds and their shareholders.
Encouraging high ethical standards by all industry participants has long been a core mission. When President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Investment Company Act into law in 1940, he commended industry supporters for their dedication to achieving higher standards of conduct in a securities industry recovering from the securities market scandals of the 1920s and 1930s. This same spirit that led to the enactment of the 1940 Act, and soon afterward, to formation of the association that became ICI, has consistently guided fund industry support for effective regulation and sound fiduciary practices.
ICI has worked to advance the interests of mutual funds, their shareholders, directors, and investment advisers throughout its history by pursuing and helping secure a variety of public policy objectives. Promoting the role of fund directors, participating in securities market initiatives, increasing tax-deferred savings opportunities and ensuring fair tax treatment for fund investors are just a few of the initiatives ICI has continually pursued on behalf of funds and their shareholders.
Promoting public understanding of mutual funds has long been an ICI core mission, and its public outreach has evolved as the mutual fund concept has become mainstream over the years. Today, ICI serves as a spokesman for funds and their shareholders before policymakers, opinion leaders, and the global media.
The Institute was established in 1940 in New York as the National Committee of Investment Companies. It became the National Association of Investment Companies in 1941. In 1940, Institute members included 68 mutual funds and 43 closed-end funds, and assets for the fund industry totaled $2.1 billion. The NAIC instituted its first public information program in 1943, published its first annual statistical summary (which evolved into the Investment Company Fact Book) in 1958, and held its first General Membership Meeting in 1959. NAIC changed its name to the Investment Company Institute in 1961, the year that underwriters and advisers of mutual funds became eligible for membership. In 1970, ICI relocated to Washington, DC. Unit investment trusts were welcomed as Institute members in 1985.
Today, in 2015, ICI celebrates the 75th anniversary of its founding and of the key legislation that gave rise to the modern fund industry.
The Institute sponsors this website as part of its efforts to improve public understanding of investment companies and the policy issues that affect funds and their shareholders. This site is not intended to address questions about your individual investments; for these, please contact mutual fund sponsors directly or a broker or other financial professional.