Results for "Fiduciary Corner"

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Time for SEC to take fiduciary baton from DOL

January 2, 2018

With the core of the DOL fiduciary rule in place and the rest of it delayed for 18 months, can advisers expect all to be quiet on the fiduciary front in 2018? In a word, no. The regulatory baton has been passed from the DOL to the SEC and it's...

These 401(k) lawsuits show the value of investment policy statements

November 22, 2017

An investment policy statement is essentially the business plan for a portfolio. For 401(k) fiduciaries, the IPS serves as a critical governing document, one that should be carefully crafted, periodically reviewed and updated, and diligently...

Mitigating conflicts of interest in compensation

October 25, 2017

Compensation is the most divisive issue in the financial advice industry. It is the subject of intense regulatory scrutiny and is widely used within the field to distinguish (and pit) one group of advisers versus another – those who receive...

The fiduciary rule for retirement advice faces an uncertain future

June 26, 2017

As his first major policy initiative, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton announced on June 1 that he welcomed an invitation by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to, among other things, "engage constructively as the Commission...

Duty of due care and robo-advisers

October 11, 2015

Investment advisers have a fiduciary duty to act in the clients' best interests. As it applies to the robo-advisers now on the scene, I don't think the technology has advanced to the point that they care enough to reliably serve clients' best...

Regulators can't keep up with change

December 21, 2014

Cheers to the new year and another chance for us to get it right.” That quote, while attributable to Oprah Winfrey, expresses what SEC commissioners must be feeling about their fiduciary rule making. The Securities and Exchange Commission...

Conflicts aren't all bad for investors

May 10, 2015

Does conflicted advice inevitably result in harm to investors? This question is central to the form and substance of how investment advice is regulated. Based on the Department of Labor's April 2015 edition of the “conflicts of interest rule,”...

Redefining an accredited investor

March 15, 2015

For more than three decades, the Securities and Exchange Commission has measured the ability to bear the risk of investing in private placements by financial assets, not acumen. That may be about to change. In 1982, the SEC adopted Regulation...

Fiduciary case law provides insight

May 25, 2014

Most of today's headlines about the fiduciary standard are about deadlines, not details. Will or won't the Securities and Exchange Commission and Labor Department move forward with changes to the fiduciary standard? The devil, of course, is...

Fiduciary: Contentious, unsettled

September 28, 2014

Earlier this month I participated in the Fiduciary Leadership Summit hosted by TD Ameritade Institutional, which brought together investors, regulators, legislative staff members, financial service company leaders and representatives of professional...

Industry preparing for an adviser SRO

June 22, 2014

Self-regulation is a hot topic at many conferences for investment advisers. Most often, sessions on the subject center on the question of whether the Securities and Exchange Commission should continue to provide direct regulatory oversight of...

SEC on a fiduciary fishing expedition

March 31, 2013

On March 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission took a highly unusual — perhaps unprecedented — action. The agency issued a “request for data and other information” in advance of proposing a rule. Specifically, the commission requested...

Enforcement of securities laws a must

October 28, 2012

There is a crisis of investor confidence in the integrity of financial market participants and regulators. Although there are many underlying causes of the crisis, financial misconduct is clearly one that is both prominent and able to be remedied....

Are cost-benefit analyses exploited?

September 30, 2012

Cost-benefit analyses are either being productively used or abused in financial regulation, depending on your point of view. Those stances are embroiled in intensive debate, as highlighted by two recent events. The first is the introduction...

When duty clashes with public policy

September 2, 2012

State and local public pensions are in the cross hairs. Collectively, they are underfunded by between $1 trillion and $3 trillion (depending on earnings rate assumptions) and are a major reason for the precarious fiscal condition of thousands...

Considering money market reforms

September 29, 2013

For a harrowing three days in September 2008, financial advisers could only wonder, “What next?” after the Reserve Primary Fund fund broke the buck. Though some of us think those days are behind us, regulators haven't forgotten, and neither...

Proxy voting lets fiduciaries use power

October 2, 2011

Proxy voting is one of the most powerful but underutilized tools that fiduciaries have to serve the best interests of investors. Through their voting power, shareholders, especially institutional shareholders, have the ability to influence directly...

'Coordination' is code for dilution

May 26, 2013

Regulatory “harmonization” has become a catchphrase for efforts to roll back investor protections to a universal, lowest-common-denominator standard governing investment advice. Now “coordination” has entered the regulatory reform vernacular...

Taking their cue from Congress

August 7, 2011

I think I found the model for how opponents of the fiduciary standard hope to render the standard meaningless after financial regulatory reform. The model has four parts that can work perfectly to dilute the fiduciary standard and render it...

Cultural changes overshadow reform

May 29, 2011

A shift in culture for investment advisers is overtaking regulatory reform in scope and significance. Although subtle evidence of the shift can be observed in the United States, it is readily apparent in Australia and New Zealand, where I recently...

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