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Unitary or Cluster

The boards of most funds are organized according to one of two models—a unitary board consisting of one group of directors who serve on the board of every fund in the complex, or a cluster board, consisting of two or more separate boards of directors within the complex, each of which oversees a different group of funds. There may be overlapping directors in cluster board models. Some of the many advantages of the unitary and cluster board models (as opposed to a model in which every fund in a complex has its own board) are:

  • common regulatory structure,
  • common personnel and service providers
  • complex-wide oversight mechanisms, and
  • enhanced board influence.


As of 2018, 87 percent of fund complexes participating in IDC/ICI’s Directors Practices Study have a unitary board structure and 13 percent have cluster boards.