ICI: Mutual Funds Have Helped Middle Class Families Secure Their Financial Futures
Palm Desert, CA; March 23, 2023—The Investment Company Institute (ICI) concluded its annual Investment Management Conference this week, after convening senior regulatory officials and industry leaders for a robust discussion of the issues facing asset managers today.
In his address before the conference, ICI’s CEO and President Eric Pan emphasized the historic success of mutual funds to help Americans achieve their savings goals and the impact on everyday Americans of pending regulatory measures, such as the SEC’s mandatory swing pricing and fund names proposals.
“For the great majority of Americans, the mutual fund is the cornerstone of their secure financial future,” Pan said. “We should ask ourselves what we can do to keep moving forward. That includes…critiquing the rules and regulations that risk hurting investors and holding back progress.”
Pan highlighted concerns with pace and scale of the SEC’s agenda – specifically the SEC’s latest proposal on mandatory swing pricing, which Pan pointed out would put middle-class Americans “at a severe disadvantage in our country’s financial markets” – and potential negative impacts on investments. He also called for identifying ways that the private and public sectors can unite in common cause to further strengthen the nation’s capital markets and help more investors save for education, homes and retirement.
“The Commission has issued a slew of rule proposals on a wide range of topics where much more work needs to be done to understand their cumulative effect on the markets and investors. Many of the rules also seem to… fall into the category of solutions in search of articulated problems… Let me be clear: ICI has always been, and always will be, a strong supporter of thoughtful, measured policy. It’s in our DNA,” Pan said. “We also have a duty to share our perspective and expertise to move policies in a better direction.”
Featured speakers representing the SEC included Commissioner Mark Uyeda, Division of Investment Management Director William Birdthistle, and Division of Investment Management Deputy Director and Associate Director for Rulemaking Sarah ten Siethoff. Commissioner Uyeda acknowledged the impact of the agency’s recent rulemaking activity on the investment management industry:
“I strongly believe that the regulatory approach to mutual funds, closed-end funds, and ETFs is not broken. If the US Securities and Exchange Commission continues on its regulatory path, however, I am concerned that investors and the markets as a whole, might be worse off,” Uyeda said of the agency’s volume and speed of proposed rulemaking during his keynote remarks.
Conference topics included the navigation of key regulatory developments impacting funds and markets, fund disclosure requirements, market structure reforms, DEI practices in the asset management industry, cybersecurity concerns, the SEC's history and ESG investing, and more. To learn more about ICI’s research and advocacy, visit ICI.org.