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Internet changed financial landscape, spawned reforms

June 9, 2008

"The marketplace always drives Washington," said Duane Thompson, managing director of the Financial Planning Association's Washington office. The development of the Internet over the past decade has led to reforms, he said. "What that did was...

Regulation, courts still transforming insurance products

June 9, 2008

A combination of regulatory developments and court cases since 1998 has molded annuities and insurance products into what they are today — and that development continues. From the Pension Protection Act to the Financial Industry Regulatory...

Study: B-Ds to double in size, but profitability's a challenge

June 2, 2008

Broker-dealers are expected to keep getting bigger, but turning that growth into profitability will remain a challenge, according to a new study. Broker-dealers are projected to double in size over the next five years, with revenue increasing...

A duty to monitor proxy voting

May 12, 2008

Upon the conclusion of a talk about achieving fiduciary excellence that I delivered April 28 at the Mountain States Public Employee Retirement Systems Forum in Denver, and sponsored by the Investment Management Network LLC of New York, an attendee...

It is time for the SEC to take a stand on compliance with Section 404

March 24, 2008

After months of insisting that no further delays for smaller public companies would be forthcoming, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said in December that he would recommend still another delay in implementing Section 404(b) for companies with market...

H&R Block loses $4 million arbitration case

March 3, 2008

Top management at H&R Block Inc., parent of H&R Block Financial Advisors Inc., allegedly turned up the heat and threatened a senior executive in the middle of an acrimonious dispute over compensation, according to an arbitration complaint that...

New tools keep up with compliance

February 4, 2008

Technology to help automate and improve the compliance function may not ring a financial adviser's cash register, but it certainly can reduce the time-consuming and potentially costly problems that compliance failures create. One new product...

Reps question controversial 'minitenders'

February 4, 2008

Investors are still receiving "minitender" offers that try to get them to sell shares at below-market prices. The small-scale tenders first arose years ago as a way to acquire illiquid limited-partnership units, but then spread to actively traded...

Bank-compliance costs soar, says study

January 14, 2008

Compliance costs at some of the nation’s top banks have grown significantly faster than net income, according a survey of 20 of the top banking and thrift institutions released today by the Deloitte Center for Banking Solutions. Compliance...

Questar Capital executive bought 'bogus' investments

December 17, 2007

A top brokerage executive affiliated with a unit of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America bought shares of unregistered investments created by Edward May, who was charged last month by the Securities and Exchange Commission with committing...

Ameriprise unit loses top rep to First Allied

December 10, 2007

As Securities America Inc. deals with the sting of losing one of its biggest advisers, the independent broker-dealer continues to tighten its compliance practices and procedures. Raymond J. Lucia Cos. Inc. of San Diego last month left Omaha,...

Sigma compliance officer faces molestation charges

December 3, 2007

Michael John Brooks, chief compliance officer at Sigma Financial Corp. in Ann Arbor, Mich., is facing child molestation charges. Mr. Brooks was arrested in Amelia Island, Fla., Nov. 2, ac-cording to Dave Egeler, spokes-man for the Washtenaw...

SEC scrutinizes firms' use of 'off the shelf' compliance

December 3, 2007

Advisers who purchase "off the shelf" compliance programs to meet more-rigorous regulatory requirements must be careful to tailor the programs to their own operations — or risk the consequences. "We do see [insufficiently customized compliance...

Are you ready for cost basis reporting?

November 12, 2007

A "nightmare" is how Shami Kaur, an adviser and certified financial planner with SK Financial Alliance in Cedar Knolls, N.J., describes dealing with cost basis issues and their tax ramifications. For advisers such as Ms. Kaur, the problem may...

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