2023 Fund Director Award Nominees: Small Board Trustee of the Year

Directors in contention come from some of the best-known fund complexes with sub-$30bn AUM, including RBB, Green Century and Morningstar Funds

The Mutual Fund & ETF Awards – which recognize the best examples of performance, innovation, marketing and growth in fund industry – are coming back to New York on June 15, 2023.

Winners will be announced at an evening ceremony at 583 Park Ave.

We are proud to present the shortlist of nominated luminaries in each of four categories:

Below you’ll find short descriptions of our nominees from boards overseeing $30bn or less:

Small Board Trustee of the Year

Arnold Reichman, RBB Fund

Reichman, 75, has been a trustee of the RBB Fund series trust since 1991 and chair of the board since 2005. RBB’s ETF business has grown from $300m in 2020 to more than $1.7bn at the start of 2023. The board oversees $21bn across more than 40 mutual funds and ETFs.

Reichman was a senior managing director and COO of asset manager Warburg Pincus Asset Management, Inc., from 1984 to 1999. Prior to that, he was a senior vice president at J. Aron and Company from 1977 to 1982 and a senior vice president of foreign exchange at Citibank from 1974 to 1977.

He was also a trustee of EIP Investment Trust from 2015 to 2022.

Daniel Kern, Green Century Funds

Daniel S. Kern has been an independent trustee since 2015 at Green Century Funds – a sustainable-investing firm best known for its no-fossil-fuels investing policy, and attracting enough ESG-positive investment dollars to increase the size of its net assets from around $700M in 2020 to approximately $1.08bn in assets as of Jan. 31, 2023.

Kern played a key role in the creation of an Investment Oversight Committee made up of two independent trustees who are responsible for oversight of the funds’ subadvisers. They review fund performance figures and discuss with the investment team any changes to investment strategies or new products that could enhance performance, and any changes in the regulatory landscape that could impact fund performance.

Kern’s experience, grasp and insight of the details of investment strategies allow him to play a key role in decision-making and in keeping channels of communication clear between the board and company executives that make up the capital management team, according to colleagues who supported his nomination.

Kern has more than 30 years of experience in investment management, most recently as chief investment officer of Nixon Peabody Trust Co. – a wholly owned subsidiary of securities-industry law firm Nixon Peabody LLP that manages approximately $3.5bn in assets. He took over as Nixon Peabody CIO in February after leaving a similar post at TFC Financial Management, where he had been in charge of the firm’s research and portfolio strategies since 2015.

Prior to TFC, Kern was president and CIO at Advisor Partners from 2011 to 2015. He holds a CFA charter and is a former president of the CFA Society of San Francisco.

He is a former head of asset allocation at Charles Schwab Investment Management and was CFO of Laudus Funds.

Theresa Hamacher, Morningstar Funds

Theresa Hamacher, has been an independent trustee and chair of the board since 2018 at the nine-fund Morningstar Funds Trust.

In February, the Morningstar board submitted a comment letter critiquing the swing-pricing rule the SEC proposed in November, 2022 for what the board described as a lack of empirical support for the benefits of swing pricing. The letter also suggested that the rule’s standardized liquidity risk-management requirements would increase costs for shareholders, especially at smaller fund organizations, which could deliver similar results at lower costs under liquidity risk-management rules with more flexibility than in the original draft of the rule.

Hamacher is a former chief investment officer for Prudential Mutual funds and for Pioneer Investments, which she left in 2001 to serve for seven years as president of NICSA, the non-profit association founded by investment industry companies to help develop operational best practices, which she took over in 2008 while the organization was going through a realignment prompted by the financial crisis.

She is president and founder of Versanture Consulting LLC – a thought-leadership practice through which she publishes frequently on fund-board governance for publications including Barron’s and the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance. She also writes frequently in defense of and for the education of retail investors who are the target audience for The Fund Industry: How your Money is Managed – an instructional guide to investing Hamacher co-wrote that “offers a one-stop depository of data and commentary on the inner workings of the fund industry from the vanilla to the exotic,” according to a Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance review of the first edition after it was published in 2011. A second edition was published in 2015, with a foreword by Nobel laureate Robert Shiller.

Hamacher also co-wrote another consumer-oriented book on investing called The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Investing in Stocks in 2006.

Next: Newcomer Trustee of the Year