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Advisers selling DC plans must improve fee disclosure

November 1, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - Advisers who sell defined contribution plans need to be proactive in disclosing fees to plan sponsors, including how much they're being compensated, said the U.S. Department of Labor's chief enforcement officer for employee retirement...

Broker execs mull creating SRO

October 25, 2004

NEW YORK - Saying they are fed up with NASD's aggressive regulatory stance, some broker-dealer executives are discussing breaking away from their present self-regulatory organization and creating a new industry group. And the executives are...

Merrill adds reps, builds fee-based biz

October 25, 2004

NEW YORK - Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. of New York is increasing its number of registered representatives as well as building its fee-based-brokerage business. The firm said in its earnings report this month that it has added 600 registered representatives...

Hundreds of planners write off Merrill rule

October 4, 2004

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of financial planners have written to the Securities and Exchange Commission urging the withdrawal of the so-called Merrill Lynch rule, or demanding at least better disclosure by brokers. The financial planners appear to...

Broker-dealers brace for upcoming regulatory changes

October 4, 2004

NEW YORK - As registered representatives continue to be concerned about the pace of regulators' proposals concerning sales practices, their broker-dealers brace for the coming changes. That much was clear here last week at the New York- and...

Rush to comply leaves some reps caught in middle

October 4, 2004

NEW YORK - Some registered representatives are feeling increasingly punch-drunk from the un-precedented rush to regulate the securities industry, according to brokers, executives with broker-dealers, attorneys and recruiters. On one side, there...

A rush to head off 529 regs

September 27, 2004

NEW YORK - As the mutual fund scandals continue to gallop across newspaper headlines, state officials who run the fast-growing but increasingly scrutinized Section 529 college savings plans are in the middle of a high-stakes battle to prove...

Most big brokers find ways to continue extra loss protection

September 27, 2004

WASHINGTON - About a year ago, many insurance carriers stopp-ed selling certain policies that brokerage houses buy to provide extra protection for their customers in case investment firms fail. Insurers such as Travelers Property Casualty Corp....

Merrill, firefighters' group going national with counseling

September 27, 2004

NEW YORK - Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. of New York and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation plan to go national with a program that provides free financial counseling and workshops to families of firefighters who have lost their lives. The...

Profits are a mixed bag at big investment banks

September 27, 2004

NEW YORK - Big investment banks shot both over and under analysts' earnings estimates last week, but common themes emerged. Trading revenue in some businesses was down, and the summer's sluggish environment on Wall Street slowed the recent steady...

SEC reopens Merrill rule debate

August 30, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - The Financial Planning Association last week aimed a second legal barrage at the Securities and Exchange Commission over the so-called Merrill Lynch rule but then held its fire. In a follow-up to its July 27 lawsuit against the...

Wirehouse, regional reps face uncertain times

August 9, 2004

NEW YORK - Although the major market indexes were up more than 20% last year, the number of employee retail brokers at wirehouses and regional firms fell slightly. But as the stock market rallied strongly last year, registered representatives...

Banks make inroads into separates business

July 12, 2004

DETROIT - The banking industry may have finally found its "in" to the investment management business. While banks have been trying for years to break into asset management by selling mutual funds, many are now turning toward separately managed...

Next for Lincoln: Pay overhaul

June 28, 2004

NEW YORK - Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. of Fort Wayne, Ind., has spent the past year going through a reorganization of its top executives and network of registered representatives. Now it is preparing to change how it pays its brokers and...

Big changes in store for deferred-comp plans

June 28, 2004

WASHINGTON - Deferred- compensation plans used by most executives would have to be changed under legislation likely to be enacted this year. Financial advisers are worried that the changes would make the plans harder to use and less flexible....

Smith Barney broker group takes bull by the horns

June 21, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - A group of the most powerful stockbrokers at Smith Barney Inc. is creating guidelines that could push the firm across the final frontier from product pusher to financial counselor. Drafting the guidelines, however, could cause...

Wachovia breaks down a wall

June 14, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - Wachovia Securities Financial Network LLC feasted on wirehouse brokers last year, but now it is preparing to cannibalize its own. The Richmond, Va.-based independent-broker-dealer arm of Wachovia Securities LLC is developing...

Helping advisers go independent

June 14, 2004

NEW YORK - Since September, National Financial Partners Corp. of New York has quietly added another avenue to its recruiting program, focusing on brokers that specialize in financial planning and consulting. Before last year, there were two...

Hints from NASD: The times, they are a-changin'

June 7, 2004

NASD has been tipping its hand to its broker-dealer members to potential changes in how registered representatives sell mutual funds and variable annuities - through comment letters, internal reorganization and enforcement. On May 4, the securities...

New climate triggering a migration

June 7, 2004

More independent advisers are choosing to partner with other firms or sell their practices, according to industry experts who cited a confluence of factors such as regulatory reforms and changing demographics. At the same time, some of those...

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