Fiduciary September Highlights Responsibility

The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard is recognizing September as a month for renewed focus on fiduciary issues and outreach.

“The overriding mission is to remind policymakers, investors and practitioners why fiduciary responsibility is important,” says Knut Rostad, president of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard. The month kicks off at 2 p.m., Thursday, September 4, with a conference call: “The State of Financial Regulatory Reform: Wall Street versus The Fiduciary Duty and Core Investor Protections; Where We Are and What’s Ahead.”

Other calls are particularly relevant to retirement plan advisers, Rostad tells PLANADVISER, such as “Best Practices: What Are They, Why We Need Them,” which will be held at 2 p.m. on September 11. “Panelists will be discussing the need for and general principles around what best practices should look like,” he says.

Rostad will be on the call with Blaine Aikin, president and CEO of fi360; James Watkins, an attorney and CEO of; and Chris Cannon, CIO of First Financial and a board member of the institute on the Best Practices Board. The call can be joined free of charge, no registration, by calling 1-857-232-0159, code 626004.

“It is critical for anyone who holds himself out as a fiduciary to be reminded of some basic principles in terms of what being a fiduciary means,” Rostad says. “In terms of best practices there are three areas. One is the transparency of fees and expenses, the second is conflicts of interest, and the third is communicating clearly and completely. I recognize that sounds so basic; but if you look at where a lot of folks are falling short, it’s precisely in those areas.”

Another call, “Restoring Investor Trust in Wall Street, with Broker/Dealers and Investment Advisers,” will take place 2 p.m., September 8, with John Taft of RBC Wealth Management, Michael Falk of Focus Consulting Group, and Jack Waymire of Paladin Registry. David Armstrong of will be the moderator. (Conference number and code above.)

“Many investors have put advisers on probation,” Rostad says. “They are not fully confident in advisers generally, including their own adviser. That’s the overriding issue that we’re trying to bring attention to, the investor concern and distrust that is seeping into their views of advisers.”

Fiduciary September was established by the institute in 2012 to focus on the importance of fiduciary principles and practice of investment advice, Rostad says. Throughout the month, other calls will address restoring trust, fiduciary best practices, the regulatory landscape in Washington and the resulting burgeoning pressures on fiduciary advisers in the marketplace. More information is on the institute’s site