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SEC Names Fund Fee Roundtable Participants

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The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission has released the agenda and panelist list for an event that could affect efforts to regulate a mechanism that money managers use to compensate producers.

The SEC says the Rule 12b-1 Roundtable, scheduled to take place at SEC headquarters in Washington June 19, could help SEC officials identify and evaluate possibilities for reforming the rule.

A Rule 12b-1 fee is a fee that helps fund managers cover the cost of marketing expenses.

When the SEC proposed to change the Rule 12b-1 disclosure requirements back in 2004, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., and many individual financial services professionals wrote in to complain that any drastic changes could threaten professionals’ ability to provide service to clients.

“If 12b-1s are eliminated, our firm will have to eliminate one staff position and immediately start to refer client inquiries to strangers on an 800 phone line who know nothing about their risk tolerance, their goals and their dreams,” James Ruth, a Gaithersburg, Md., financial planner, wrote in a comment submitted in 2004.

The panelist list for the June 19 roundtable includes 22 names.

Panelists at companies with ties to the insurance industry include Charles Nelson, a senior vice president at the retirement services arm of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Greenwood Village, Colo., a unit of Power Corp. of America, Montreal; Robert Uek, an independent trustee at MFS Investment Management, Boston, a unit of Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto; John Hill, “independent chairman” of Putnam Funds, Boston, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., New York; and Joseph Russo, chairman of Advantage Financial Group Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a company affiliated with a unit of Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing, Mich., which, in turn, is a unit of Prudential P.L.C., London.