A recent cease-and-desist order filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission underscores the fact that revenue sharing among financial advisers and ‘parties in interest’ is not necessarily an inherent problem—but a failure to disclose the relationship and the potential for conflict is.
Alan Wolper, an attorney with significant experience helping advisers and brokers navigate FINRA and SEC examinations, says the recently published FINRA 2019 priorities list is interesting, but ultimately not all that informative when it comes to helping advisers avoid the most pressing compliance issues.
Defendants strongly prevailed with their motion to dismiss, and the Illinois District Court barred further motions as moot: The complaint was far too general in its scope and allegations to move ahead.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has adopted a revised ethics code that requires a CFP professional to act as a fiduciary in all client service contexts, and therefore, to act in the best interests of the client at all times when providing financial advice.
With so much uncertainty now overhanging the future of the DOL fiduciary rule expansion, the onus is squarely on advisers, broker/dealers and recordkeepers to decide how they will respond; we hear from one small advisory firm in Northern Ohio that will carry on with business as usual.
The appellee, Market Synergy Group, argued unsuccessfully that its representatives would never be able to make the Best Interest Contract Exemption, a key mechanism underlying the new DOL fiduciary rule, workable.
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.
The regulator is reassessing its requirements for RIAs to monitor the outside business activities of their reps; one experts argues it is likely that, if the final rule reflects the proposed rule, many plan advisers who serve plans through an independent RIA (as opposed to the broker/dealer’s “corporate” RIA) will seek to renegotiate their compensation arrangements relating to their independent RIA revenue.
In a dense dismissal decision, the district court offers a reminder of the exacting pleading standards of ERISA and statues of limitations before roundly rejecting the plaintiff's allegations for failing to state an actionable claim.
From a rapidly evolving recordkeeping provider landscape to
a potential wholesale rewrite of the tax treatment of retirement assets,
today’s environment puts advisers and their clients in a constant
state of flux.