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Northwestern sues ex-agent, seeking to blunt his attacks

March 28, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. is suing one of its former agents who runs a website that publishes content highly critical of the company's practices. The Milwaukee-based financial services giant is suing Policyowner...

Ruling clouds status of insurance trusts

March 28, 2005

CHICAGO - A controversial court ruling last month that cast doubt on the use of life insurance trusts is already having a chilling effect on the widely used estate planning strategy. Worries over the decision effectively quashed a trust deal...

Former Griffith staffers charge firm with deceit

March 28, 2005

NEW YORK - Thirty-six independent-contractor registered representatives formerly affiliated with W.S. Griffith Securities Inc. are seeking $46 million in damages from their old broker-dealer and its former owner, Phoenix Cos. Inc. of Hartford,...

Point-of-sale plan is still a hard sell

March 21, 2005

WASHINGTON - Brokers at first thought the Securities and Exchange Commission was granting them some relief from the cumbersome "point of sale" disclosure requirements first proposed in January 2004. Now they're having second thoughts. The new...


March 21, 2005

InvestmentNews is launching a monthly e-newsletter called Regulatory Alert to keep our readers on top of key regulatory and legislative developments that affect their business. The newsletter will run the first Wednesday of each month, starting...

CCO outreach program has few fans

March 21, 2005

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The Securities and Exchange Commission's initiative creating a chief compliance officer outreach program is nothing more than an attempt to further deputize CCOs as the eyes and ears of the commission, according to some...

NASD fines broker for market timing in variable-life policy

March 21, 2005

NEW YORK - In a first, NASD on Wednesday fined a broker-dealer for market timing in subaccounts of variable universal life insurance policies. The broker-dealer, Jefferson Pilot Variable Corp. of Concord, N.H., was fined $325,000 for failure...

SEC launches exam hotline for advisers

March 21, 2005

WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission has set up a hotline for investment advisers and investment companies to report complaints about examinations. Lori Richards, director of the SEC's office of compliance inspections and examinations,...

For Roye's successor, improved disclosure ranks high on to-do list

March 14, 2005

WASHINGTON - The next top cop on the mutual fund beat, who could be named as early this week, faces the daunting task of making information provided to fund investors easier to digest. That is the consensus of many, including Paul Roye, the...

Canada lifts caps on retirement investment

March 14, 2005

OTTAWA - In a surprise move, Canada has abolished limits on how Canadians invest their retirement saving dollars, opening a whole new ballpark for many players. The scrapping last month in the federal budget of the 30% limit on foreign content...

Transparency for bonds is viewed as a plus

March 14, 2005

NEW YORK - Financial advisers, for the most part, are happy that increased transparency has finally come to the bond markets, even though it is unlikely to induce more direct investment by individuals. Some, however, fear that it could make...

Term-only insurance licensing plan blasted

March 14, 2005

NEW YORK - An adviser and agent trade group, as well as several regulators, are blasting proposed legislation that would create insurance licenses to sell only term insurance, saying they are opposed to diluting licensing requirements. So far,...

NASD examines anti-money-laundering programs

March 7, 2005

NEW YORK - NASD is taking a close look at its broker-dealer members' ability to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations. Broker-dealers, like banks, have been facing greater pressure since enactment of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 to enforce...

FSI seeks study on broker data

March 7, 2005

NEW YORK - Looking to show that independent broker-dealers - and their affiliated representatives - are among the cleanest in the industry, the Financial Services Institute has petitioned NASD to comb through its reams of data that track violations....

Use of 12(b)-1 fees has shifted away from distribution

March 7, 2005

WASHINGTON - Of the $10 billion in 12(b)-1 fees collected by mutual funds last year, more than half went to continuing shareholder services, according to a study from the Investment Company Institute. The study, published late last month, showed...

Some in Congress support enhancing 'automatic' 401(k)s

March 7, 2005

WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders who deal with retirement issues are taking an interest in looking at ways to enhance "automatic" 401(k)s, after a new national initiative was announced last week to make the defined contribution plans easier...

Anti-laundering fines common for brokers

March 7, 2005

NEW YORK - Along with Gunn- Allen Financial Inc. of Tampa, Fla., NASD has fined almost 20 broker-dealers over the past couple of years for violations of anti-money-laundering rules. According to NASD, it fined WR Hambrecht + Co. of San Francisco...

New SEC compliance rules spur outsourcing

February 28, 2005

NEW YORK - The new Security and Exchange Commission compliance requirements have spurred a significant jump in the amount of compliance work that planners, registered investment advisers and asset managers are outsourcing. The requirements,...

Movement for uniform trust law 'in trouble'

February 28, 2005

CHICAGO - As the Uniform Trust Code is debated in statehouses around the country, the model legislation is being opposed by some vocal estate planners, whose concerns may be slowing its progress. Critics argue that specific sections of the UTC,...

Advisers won't leave American Funds on shelf

February 28, 2005

BOSTON - NASD allegations that American Funds improperly directed $100 million in trading commissions to brokerage firms that were top sellers of its funds has done little to hurt the firm's squeaky-clean image among financial advisers - at...

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