Are Mutual Fund Directors Irrelevant?

May 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;May2004, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p15
Academic Journal
This section ponders whether mutual fund directors are irrelevant or simply overextended. According to a March 17, 2004, page-one article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), fund directors may not only be lax in doing their jobs, they may actually have too many jobs to even attempt doing. The WSJ article reported that Marvin Mann, former chairman of Lexmark International and the lead independent trustee of Fidelity Investments' funds, serves on 292 fund boards of directors. In fact, according to the article, many directors sit on 100 or more boards and regard that as routine. The WSJ article also offers the case of Lawrence Cohn, chief of cardiac surgery at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Cohn leads a team of five doctors performing 1,100 hear surgeries a year. He is also an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and a trustee of 109 funds. According to Mann, the trustees do not hire and fire portfolio managers but they counsel with management.


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