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Rominger’s view from 9 weeks in

April 28, 2011

Eileen Rominger spoke today about her first 9 weeks as the SEC’s Director of the Division of Investment Management. She made her comments at the Mutual Fund Directors Forum 2011 Policy Conference, held in Washington DC. My notes from her comments:

Hitting the ground running. The early days of her tenure have been quite tumultuous. Rominger reminded everyone that she appeared before Congress to justify her division’s budget request only 17 days after starting her new job, which not surprisingly “required quite a bit of cramming.” She also had to deal with the prospect of a government shutdown — not just once, but twice.

About her new job. Rominger speaks very highly of her new team, saying, “The experience, the dedication, the hard work of the Investment Management staff has impressed me no end.” In terms of challenges,  IT resources top her list of concerns.

Regulatory cooperation. Collaboration with other regulators is high on Rominger’s agenda. She has reached out to the CFTC, proposing that the two agencies meet regularly to discuss issues of mutual concern — the way the SEC currently meets with the Department of Labor. And she has met with the head of the new SEC enforcement task force to start what she hopes will be an ongoing conversation with that team. Overall, she has found that there is a “tremendous commitment” from regulators to make sure that they’re not operating in silos.

Money market funds. Rominger reports that the SEC is “really pleased with the results of the first round of money market reform.” Disclosure on holdings data has been particularly useful. She wants the upcoming money market fund roundtable to be a “truly substantive” conversation about the issues being debated in the second round of reform. (Note that the event will be webcast for those who want to see the entire conversation.)

Her credo. Always consider, “If shareholders were in the room, how would they react?”

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