In a detailed ruling, the Deutsche Bank defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted with respect to certain prohibited transaction claims, but denied with respect to other breach of fiduciary duty claims.
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.
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.”
Chris Barlow, national director of defined contribution investments for BMO GAM, riffs on the results of a new “DC Conversations” industry assessment; among the top findings is a downward trend in deferral rates across all sectors since 2010.
Expert attorneys warn the new non-enforcement policy binds only the DOL and IRS; state regulators and private plaintiffs could potentially seek to bring an action for alleged non-compliance with impartial conduct standards.
Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting and Lowe’s are being sued by the participants of the Lowe’s 401(k) retirement plan; the proposed class of plaintiffs puts forward a variety of familiar ERISA fiduciary breach claims.
Backing away from the topic of the DOL fiduciary rule, ERISA attorney Fred Reish focused his speech at the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s national conference on general compliance duties of ERISA plan sponsors; he noted that courts have applied what is called the “two hats” doctrine.
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.
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.
In its discussions with TDF managers, Mercer has found many managers say they have not aligned with the ACWI, and have continued with portfolios that display home equity bias for a number of reasons; the research also shows strong growth in passive TDF market share.
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.
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.
Plaintiffs suggested plan fiduciaries permitted excessive fees to be paid, leading to improper provider kickbacks; a district court judge has summarily dismissed the allegations for failing to state an actionable claim.
The unsuccessful challenge was viewed as somewhat unique amid the glut of retirement industry litigation because it cited the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law of 1970, known as RICO.
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.