History and Roots
The Forum, which was formally organized in 2002, grew out of the Mutual Fund Directors Education Council, a group convened in 1999 in response to the call for improved fund governance by then-SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt.
Speaking at the first Policy Conference held by the Mutual Fund Directors Forum after its formal organization, Chairman Harvey L. Pitt applauded the efforts of the Forum to provide a vehicle for the continuing education of fund directors. Pitt said, "As we all know, mutual funds are the investment and savings choice for millions of Americans. Mutual fund investors benefit from groups like the Forum that seek to improve and elevate fund governance, and promote the development of vigilant, dedicated and well-informed independent directors. I commend those mutual funds and fund complexes that already have elected to join the Forum - thereby enrolling all of their independent directors in the Forum - and I encourage those who have not yet done so to consider seriously the benefits of joining."
In 2004, The Forum prepared and delivered to the SEC a report titled "Best Practices and Practical Guidance for Mutual Fund Directors." The Forum prepared the Best Practices Report in response to a request from then-SEC Chairman William H. Donaldson that the Forum, as a membership organization of independent fund directors, develop written practical guidance and best practices for independent directors in areas in which director oversight and decision-making is particularly critical for the protection of fund shareholders. The Forum has also commented on and actively supported SEC rulemaking initiatives consistent with the Forum's Best Practices guidance.