The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently told the SEC to beef up its oversight of self-regulatory organizations (SROs). The GAO wants the securities regulator to do so by establishing a written framework for conducting SRO inspections, expanding the use of SRO internal review products, and enhancing information technology to improve the SEC’s ability to track and analyze SROs’ implementation of inspection recommendations and SRO referral data.

The American College and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) have entered into a new two-year plan to grow the LUTCF and FSS designations. These programs are offered through a series of moderated classes available through NAIFA local and state associations around the country and online. If registration targets for scheduled programs are met, a scholarship fund will be established in 2009, which NAIFA will manage, providing financial support for the educational needs of new industry professionals…

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association (ALA) announced 13 grants, totaling more than $853,000, to public libraries and library networks across the country to provide the public access to unbiased investing data and resources. The grants are part of a new program–Smart Investing @ Your Library….

Morningstar named its Mutual Fund Managers of the Year, which this year includes the first three-time winner, Bill Gross of PIMCO. The winners are: Will Danoff of Fidelity Contrafund, Fidelity Advisor New Insights, for Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year; Hakan Castegren and the Northern Cross Team Harbor International for International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year…