Mission and History
The Institute engages in three core missions that 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.
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—which led to the enactment of the 1940 Act, and soon afterward, to the formation of the association that became ICI—has consistently guided fund industry support for effective regulation and sound fiduciary practices.
Advancing the interests of mutual funds, their shareholders, directors, and investment advisers.
Throughout its history, ICI has worked to advance this core mission 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 and other investment companies.
Long an ICI core mission, 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.
In 2004, ICI created the Independent Directors Council to support independent directors in their efforts to represent the interests of fund shareholders. Responding to growing pressures and opportunities for funds operating globally, ICI formed ICI Global in 2011—the first industry body exclusively advancing the perspective of global investment funds.