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15 U.S. Code § 80a–16 - Board of directors

(a) Election of directors

No person shall serve as a director of a registered investment company unless elected to that office by the holders of the outstanding voting securities of such company, at an annual or a special meeting duly called for that purpose; except that vacancies occurring between such meetings may be filled in any otherwise legal manner if immediately after filling any such vacancy at least two-thirds of the directors then holding office shall have been elected to such office by the holders of the outstanding voting securities of the company at such an annual or special meeting. In the event that at any time less than a majority of the directors of such company holding office at that time were so elected by the holders of the outstanding voting securities, the board of directors or proper officer of such company shall forthwith cause to be held as promptly as possible and in any event within sixty days a meeting of such holders for the purpose of electing directors to fill any existing vacancies in the board of directors unless the Commission shall by order extend such period. The foregoing provisions of this subsection shall not apply to members of an advisory board.

Nothing herein shall, however, preclude a registered investment company from dividing its directors into classes if its charter, certificate of incorporation, articles of association, by-laws, trust indenture, or other instrument or the law under which it is organized, so provides and prescribes the tenure of office of the several classes: Provided, That no class shall be elected for a shorter period than one year or for a longer period than five years and the term of office of at least one class shall expire each year.

(b) Term vacancies

Any vacancy on the board of directors of a registered investment company which occurs in connection with compliance with section 80a–15(f)(1)(A) of this title and which must be filled by a person who is not an interested person of either party to a transaction subject to section 80a–15(f)(1)(A) of this title shall be filled only by a person (1) who has been selected and proposed for election by a majority of the directors of such company who are not such interested persons, and (2) who has been elected by the holders of the outstanding voting securities of such company, except that in the case of the death, disqualification, or bona fide resignation of a director selected and elected pursuant to clauses (1) and (2) of this subsection (b), the vacancy created thereby may be filled as provided in subsection (a).

(c) Trustees of common-law trusts

The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to a common-law trust existing on August 22, 1940, under an indenture of trust which does not provide for the election of trustees by the shareholders. No natural person shall serve as trustee of such a trust, which is registered as an investment company, after the holders of record of not less than two-thirds of the outstanding shares of beneficial interests in such trust have declared that he be removed from that office either by declaration in writing filed with the custodian of the securities of the trust or by votes cast in person or by proxy at a meeting called for the purpose. Solicitation of such a declaration shall be deemed a solicitation of a proxy within the meaning of section 80a–20(a) of this title.

The trustees of such a trust shall promptly call a meeting of shareholders for the purpose of voting upon the question of removal of any such trustee or trustees when requested in writing so to do by the record holders of not less than 10 per centum of the outstanding shares.

Whenever ten or more shareholders of record who have been such for at least six months preceding the date of application, and who hold in the aggregate either shares having a net asset value of at least $25,000 or at least 1 per centum of the outstanding shares, whichever is less, shall apply to the trustees in writing, stating that they wish to communicate with other shareholders with a view to obtaining signatures to a request for a meeting pursuant to this subsection and accompanied by a form of communication and request which they wish to transmit, the trustees shall within five business days after receipt of such application either—

(1) afford to such applicants access to a list of the names and addresses of all shareholders as recorded on the books of the trust; or

(2) inform such applicants as to the approximate number of shareholders of record, and the approximate cost of mailing to them the proposed communication and form of request.

If the trustees elect to follow the course specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection the trustees, upon the written request of such applicants, accompanied by a tender of the material to be mailed and of the reasonable expenses of mailing, shall, with reasonable promptness, mail such material to all shareholders of record at their addresses as recorded on the books, unless within five business days after such tender the trustees shall mail to such applicants and file with the Commission, together with a copy of the material to be mailed, a written statement signed by at least a majority of the trustees to the effect that in their opinion either such material contains untrue statements of fact or omits to state facts necessary to make the statements contained therein not misleading, or would be in violation of applicable law, and specifying the basis of such opinion.

After opportunity for hearing upon the objections specified in the written statement so filed, the Commission may, and if demanded by the trustees or by such applicants shall, enter an order either sustaining one or more of such objections or refusing to sustain any of them. If the Commission shall enter an order refusing to sustain any of such objections, or if, after the entry of an order sustaining one or more of such objections, the Commission shall find, after notice and opportunity for hearing, that all objections so sustained have been met, and shall enter an order so declaring, the trustees shall mail copies of such material to all shareholders with reasonable promptness after the entry of such order and the renewal of such tender.

(Aug. 22, 1940, ch. 686, title I, § 16, 54 Stat. 813; Pub. L. 94–29, § 28(3), June 4, 1975, 89 Stat. 165.)
Editorial Notes

1975—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 94–29 added subsec. (b), redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c), and substituted “The foregoing provisions of this section” for “The provisions of subsection (a) of this section” in first sentence.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–29 effective June 4, 1975, see section 31(a) of Pub. L. 94–29, set out as a note under section 78b of this title.

Executive Documents
Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of Securities and Exchange Commission, with certain exceptions, to Chairman of such Commission, see Reorg. Plan No. 10 of 1950, §§ 1, 2, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3175, 64 Stat. 1265, set out under section 78d of this title.