Clients hire us to provide fairness and fiduciary opinions.  We are specialists in providing fairness and fiduciary opinions in mutual fund transactions.  Many mutual fund sponsors have been given voting discretion by their clients for shares held by 401(k) plans, pension funds and trust accounts.  When a mutual fund family is sold, the sponsor has voting power over these shares.  For bank-sponsored mutual funds, the OCC has mandated that the fund family obtain a fairness and fiduciary opinion or other assistance from a third party in order to ensure that the sponsor votes the proxy for the mutual shares in a manner that is in the best interests of the shareholders.  OCC Bulletin 2008-4 (March 6, 2008).  Since that time, many fund sponsors not governed by the OCC have determined that obtaining a fairness and fiduciary opinion is a wise course of action in connection with sale of the sponsor's mutual funds.