While the deadline had already technically passed for the DOL to appeal the circuit court ruling vacating its fiduciary rule reforms, this highly anticipated move by the court is truly the end of an era.
A new client alert published by the Wagner Law Group urges advisory firms to review and consider an update to anti-churning policies, now that FINRA and the SEC are both engaging in the matter.
Independent advisory shop founder Joe Gordon talks about winning new plan business from brokers and bank advisers who are “seriously fumbling the discussion with clients about fees and fiduciary change.”
This leaves the SEC’s revised conflict of interest standards for brokers and advisers as the leading alternative.
If an adviser reduced their fee due to the receipt of 12b-1 fees, the SEC might not ask for any disgorgement; for instance, the SEC says, if an adviser regularly charges an annual management fee of 1.25% of assets but lowered that to 1% in light of the 12b-1 fees, the SEC says it is unlikely to ask for any disgorgement.
The release of a thousand-page "best interest" rulemaking package by the SEC applying to all brokers and investment advisers is being hailed as a victory by some and a deep disappointment by others; either way, it's the start of another long chapter in the epic industry battle over federal conflict of interest regulations.
It will take time for the fully detailed picture to emerge, but the SEC voted late Wednesday to propose new conflict of interest standards for how broker/dealers and financial advisers label themselves and sell products under various fee structures to retail clients.
Nearly a month after an appellate court unexpectedly quashed the DOL fiduciary rule expansion, the Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a date and time for its first formal meeting on the topic.
Amid a glut of retirement plan industry litigation and regulatory change, advisers are asking the twin questions of whether one owes a fiduciary duty to their client, and if so, what exactly those fiduciary duties entail.
Almost half of advisers who left their firm moved along with a larger team in 2017, versus 34% in 2012, according to data shared by Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions; advisers moving to an independent broker/dealer more often depart as a team versus other movers.
More than 60% of advisers polled by Cerulli Associates agree that client demand for “financial planning” is increasing; at the same time, broker/dealers are refining their digital planning support for advisers in order to retain top talent.
While the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the DOL fiduciary rule expansion, one attorney warns the rule is still technically in effect, at the very least until the court issues a “mandate” opening a limited period during which the Department of Labor can choose to contest the decision; he also questions whether the circuit courts are in fact split on the matter, as some are suggesting.
Some ERISA attorneys argue the Fifth Circuit decision last week to vacate entirely the DOL’s fiduciary rule expansion makes a Supreme Court decision on the matter inevitable; others are less sure that a decisive SCOTUS decision could be forthcoming, instead expecting the SEC to take the lead; still others admit they have little idea how the regulatory picture will shake out, recommending patience and ongoing compliance.
The latest decision out of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws a dramatic new element of confusion into the epic regulatory saga that has been the rollout of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.
The firm says it does not have additional information to share at this juncture beyond what has been noted in a 2017 year-end SEC filing; in that newly emerged document, Wells Fargo Advisors says it has begun an internal investigation into “whether there have been inappropriate referrals or recommendations” made by its advisors, including with respect to rollovers for 401(k) plan participants.
Looking to 2018 and beyond, traditional advisers, brokerage firms and banks are widely (and aggressively) seeking to integrate digital advice into their service offerings; the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning offers a digital advice road map to help make sense of it all.
The enforcement arm of the Massachusetts Securities Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth alleges that Scotttrade violated the Massachusetts Uniform Securities Act and related regulations by leveraging sales contests that violated the expanded DOL fiduciary rule.