In a 3-0 ruling, a federal appeals court overturned a Securities and Exchange Commission ruling that required at least 75 percent of mutual fund directors to be independent of the fund company. According to published reports, the appellate court ruled that the regulator had the authority to adopt the rule; however, it maintained that the commission had not considered any alternatives and did not consider the costs of such a rule. Under that mandate, it was estimated that roughly 3,700 funds would have to seek new chairmen. The rule was to go into effect next year. With the decision, the matter will again to back to the commission, but it is not expected to be reviewed until a permanent replacement for Chairman William Donaldson is appointed. Donaldson will step down June 30.

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