The Regulation of Mutual Fund Names and the Societal Role of Trust: An Exploration of Section 35(D) of the Investment Company Act

DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal, Vol. 3, 2005

38 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2009  

Larry D. Barnett

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: March 24, 2009

Abstract

Section 35(d) of the Investment Company Act authorizes the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate the names of investment companies that are registered with the Commission, and bars registered investment companies - the vast majority of which are mutual funds - from using names that contain words "that the Commission finds are materially deceptive or misleading." The article relates the regulation of investment company names to the importance to society of trust. Pertinent case law under section 35(d) is reviewed, and Rule 35d-1 is discussed. The article also considers fund names that are not covered either by section 35(d) or by Rule 35d-1 - specifically, names that are "cute" or "catchy" - and suggests a possible revision of the section. The suggested revision employs a behavioral science, value-neutral approach to fund names rather than the present value-based approach.

Keywords: mutual funds, investment companies, names, trust

JEL Classification: K23

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Larry D., The Regulation of Mutual Fund Names and the Societal Role of Trust: An Exploration of Section 35(D) of the Investment Company Act (March 24, 2009). DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal, Vol. 3, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1367682

Larry D. Barnett (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States
302-477-2134 (Phone)

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