Securities Lawyer's Deskbook
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The
Investment Company Act of 1940





Section 32 -- Accountants and Auditors


  1. Selection of accountant. It shall be unlawful for any registered management company or registered face-amount certificate company to file with the Commission any financial statement signed or certified by an independent public accountant, unless--

    1. such accountant shall have been selected at a meeting held within thirty days before or after the beginning of the fiscal year or before the annual meeting of stockholders in that year by the vote, cast in person, of a majority of those members of the board of directors who are not interested persons of such registered company;

    2. such selection shall have been submitted for ratification or rejection at the next succeeding annual meeting of stockholders if such meeting be held, except that any vacancy occurring between annual meetings, due to the death or resignation of the accountant, may be filled by the vote of a majority of those members of the board of directors who are not interested persons of such registered company, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such action;

    3. the employment of such accountant shall have been conditioned upon the right of the company by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities at any meeting called for the purpose to terminate such employment forthwith without any penalty; and

    4. such certificate or report of such accountant shall be addressed both to the board of directors of such registered company and to the security holders thereof.

    If the selection of an accountant has been rejected pursuant to paragraph (2) or his employment terminated pursuant to paragraph (3), the vacancy so occurring may be filled by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities, either at the meeting at which the rejection or termination occurred or, if not so filled, at a subsequent meeting which shall be called for the purpose. In the case of a common-law trust of the character described in section 16(c) [15 USCS § 80a-16(c)], no ratification of the employment of such accountant shall be required but such employment may be terminated and such accountant removed by action of the holders of record of a majority of the outstanding shares of beneficial interest in such trust in the same manner as is provided in section 16(c) [15 USCS § 80a-16(c)] in respect of the removal of a trustee, and all the provisions therein contained as to the calling of a meeting shall be applicable. In the event of such termination and removal, the vacancy so occurring may be filled by action of the holders of record of a majority of the shares of beneficial interest either at the meeting, if any, at which such termination and removal occurs, or by instruments in writing filed with the custodian, or if not so filed within a reasonable time then at a subsequent meeting which shall be called by the trustees for the purpose. The provisions of paragraph (42) of section 2(a) [15 USCS § 80a-2(a)(42)] as to a majority shall be applicable to the vote cast at any meeting of the shareholders of such a trust held pursuant to this subsection.

  2. Selection of controller or other principal accounting officer. No registered management company or registered face-amount certificate company shall file with the Commission any financial statement in the preparation of which the controller or other principal accounting officer or employee of such company participated, unless such controller, officer or employee was selected, either by vote of the holders of such company's voting securities at the last annual meeting of such security holders, or by the board of directors of such company.

  3. Reports of accountants and auditors. The Commission is authorized, by rules and regulations or order in the public interest or for the protection of investors, to require accountants and auditors to keep reports, work sheets, and other documents and papers relating to registered investment companies for such period or periods as the Commission may prescribe, and to make the same available for inspection by the Commission or any member or representative thereof.


Legislative History


Aug. 22, 1940, ch 686, Title I, § 32, 54 Stat. 838; Dec. 14, 1970, P.L. 91-547, § 18, 84 Stat. 1427; June 4, 1975, P.L. 94-29, § 28(4), 89 Stat. 165.

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