Mutual Benefits

Posted November 21, 2003 at 4:41pm

Niels Holch is not only a mutual fund lobbyist, he’s also an investor.

“Mutual fund investing has been a hobby of mine for a long time,” Holch said, explaining his interest in the issue. “With mutual fund sales and trading scandals dominating the media each day, the only constituency without a voice in Washington is the mutual fund investor.”

So when the mutual fund scandal erupted this fall, Holch decided to establish a lobbying coalition to represent the interests of the 95 million Americans who stock their money in mutual funds.

The two-week-old Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors is based in the North Capitol Street offices of McGuiness & Holch, the lobbying shop founded by Holch and partner Kevin McGuiness.

As the House and Senate take up legislation to crack down on the industry, institutional investors and mutual fund

companies find themselves well represented in Washington by groups ranging from the Investment Company Institute to the Securities Industry Association.

But “there really isn’t anyone on the other side,” Holch said.

McGuiness & Holch also hopes to make some money from the venture. The coalition’s Web site solicits donations from those who want to make sure that individual investors are represented on Capitol Hill.

“We’re trying to see if we can use the Internet as a mechanism to organize the investor community into a lobbying force in this debate,” Holch said.

Early donations will be used to offset the firm’s current expenses for setting up and running the alliance. Additional revenues will be contributed toward the firm’s lobbying fees.

“The coalition could grow into a client of the firm,” Holch said.

So far, however, the coalition has not received a single donation.

OPASTCO Snags Tyree. The Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies has added Randy Tyree as its legislative director.

Tyree comes to the organization from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, where he was a legislative consultant.

Tyree served at one time as legislative director to Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and as executive director of the Congressional Rural Caucus.

Ado Returns to Akin. After a stint with Vice President Cheney, Ado Machida has returned to Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where he will lobby on tax, trade and appropriations issues.

In his time with the Bush administration, Machida worked on similar issues.

Elmendorf Scores on Both Ends. Newly released lobbying disclosure forms show that Steve Elmendorf, a top consultant to Rep. Richard Gephardt’s (D-Mo.) presidential campaign, was paid $60,000 in the first six months of 2003 to lobby Congress for a pair of influential groups.

According to filings on, the Gephardt aide earned $40,000 from the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and $20,000 from Fannie Mae.