Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Board 15(c) Options and Strategies

Last month at the Forum's Third Annual Directors' Institute in Fort Myers, FL, John W. Gerstmayr, a partner at Rope & Gray LLP, delivered a talk entitled, "Working with Management to Address Performance and Expense Problems –Board Options and Strategies." This year's case study at the Insitute focused extensively on the uniquely difficult issues directors will face during the contract renewal process this year, particularly issues related to the economic crisis and resulting market turmoil. Some of the hypothetical problems in the case study this year included: an adviser facing financial difficulties, a former star portfolio manager facing performance challenges, the effect on performance of outflows, and conflicts raised by the simultaneous management of separate accounts.

Mr. Gerstmayr delivered his address at the end of the conference, and provided an excellent wrap up of approaches and strategies to address the challenging issues and hypothetical situations attendees encountered as they worked through the case study. The PowerPoint presentation accompanying Mr. Gerstmayr's address is an excellent resource for fund directors as they work through their fund's 15(c) process, particularly with the unique and difficult issues and challenges a fund may face as a result of recent market conditions.

Mr. Gerstmayr's PowerPoint presentation is available to Forum members in the Directors' Resource Center at: http://www.mfdf.com/members/documents/GerstmayrPresentation.pdf (password required)