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SEC advisers want more information on the design of mutual funds



(Reuters) – Mutual fund boards would need to disclose gender and racial diversity information to their board members during a rule change recommended to the United States' top securities regulator.

Proposal from a US Securities Advisory Committee. and the Exchange Commission, which would need further approval, go further than the subcommittee had outlined in the spring and reflect a growing focus from elsewhere on the financial industry's lack of diversity.

At present, there is "virtually no representation of women and minorities" on boards that establish policies for the US $ 29.3 trillion in US securities industry, said Gilbert Garcia, chairman of the subcommittee and managing partner of a Houston investment firm, in a interview late on Monday.

Mr Garcia said that the subcommittee has no specific set of information in mind, but generally said that more data should lead to more diversity. "The theory is that by shining transparency in this, market forces will change the composition of the board, "he said.

The pressure for new information is in line with other steps aimed at demonstrating the lack of women and minority representation in many U.S. businesses. A new Illinois law requires, for example, public corporations the state lists race and gender for each director.

Fund boards differ from the board members who run the stock exchange listed asset management companies such as BlackRock Inc. or T. Rowe Price Group and traditionally face less public scrutiny. Fund boards monitor areas such as fees that funds pay to managers.

Mr. Garcia had said on March 1

9 that the subcommittee would likely recommend other changes, including having investment advisers report on the race and gender of officers.

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