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Up Front News

AdvisorCentral Hires Groom

AdvisorCentral, the mutual fund portal for financial advisers, has hired financial services veteran Harold Groom to replace Joseph Grause. Though it's not clear whether Grause was fired or left for personal reasons, a written statement from the board said the organization is focusing on institutional business and new technologies. A spokeswoman denied that Grause had signed any prearranged agreement to resign with the portal's owners, Fidelity, Putnam, Franklin Templeton and PFPC. Grause declined to comment for the story, while Groom said of the 25,000 users of the site, he expects growth to continue.

Former CIA/FBI Chief To Head Accounting Board

The Securities and Exchange Commission has appointed William Webster, a former judge who has served as director of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, to oversee a new panel that will audit the financial statements of public companies.

As chairman of the Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board, Webster will oversee the board's efforts to stem corporate fraud.

However, at press time, the SEC was questioning Webster's role as chairman of an auditing committee of a firm facing fraud charges.

The SEC also appointed four other board members. They are Kayla Gillan, who served six years as chief legal adviser to the California Public Employees' Retirement System, Daniel Goelzer, a former SEC general counsel, Willis Gradison, Jr., a former nine-term Congressman from Ohio, and Charles Niemeier, the chief accountant for the commission's division of enforcement. He is also co-chairman of its financial fraud task force.


Do you think the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will strengthen financial reporting, thus making the jobs of mutual fund portfolio managers easier? Is Webster the right man for the job?