New fintech tools for DOL fiduciary rule launched despite questions of a Trump delay

The advisory world is moving toward a fiduciary standard with or without the DOL rule, financial technology firms contend

Nov 16, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

By Liz Skinner

Fintech companies are continuing to push out tools to meet the DOL fiduciary rule, even as the surprise election of Donald Trump as America's next president has created questions about whether the rule will be amended or even killed.

Three companies announced upgrades, integrations or new tools Wednesday that aim to help financial advisers meet provisions of the controversial rule that requires advisers to act in the best interest of clients when providing retirement advice. Implementation of the rule is set for April 2017.

Executives at the three fintech firms said despite speculation that President-elect Trump could delay implementation of the rule, the trend toward putting clients' interests first isn't going to go away, and advisers should remain on course to meet the rule.

"Fiduciary best practices are here to stay,” said Daniel Satchkov, president of RiXtrema.

Advisers should not “become complacent due to the forthcoming Trump presidency,” as the financial advice world is moving toward providing fiduciary advice and professionals will need to be able to show their clients and document that the investments they've suggested are in their best interest, he said.

RiXtrema's new FeeComp is based on data from advisers' Form ADVs that firms provide to the Securities and Exchange Commission. It will allow advisers to show how their fees compare with others based on account size, geography, services provided and other factors, according to a RiXtrema press release.

The rule's April 2017 compliance deadline has provided a sense of urgency from advisers looking for tools to meet the fiduciary requirements, said Steve Dunlap, president of FolioDynamix. But the rule really is just “accelerating trends that were falling into place anyway,” of providing holistic financial advice that's in the best interest of clients, he said.

“Even if the deadline changes under a President Trump, that may take away the urgency but it doesn't take away the need,” Mr. Dunlap said.

(More: How fintech aims to make DOL fiduciary rule manageable)

FolioDynamix, a technology and asset management firm, announced Wednesday it's integrating its platform with PIEtech's financial planning and client discovery software MoneyGuidePro.

Data from the financial planning tool will automatically flow into FolioDynamix' proposal generation, execution and documentation tools so advisers can prove they have a deep understanding of clients they've advised, he said.

In a separate announcement, financial planning software firm Advicent said it will make new account aggregation and client fact-finding tools available through its Naviplan financial planning software in early 2017. It's also arranged cheaper compliance consulting services for its clients through consulting firm North Highland because Advicent's executives believe technology alone can't protect advisers from client lawsuits.

“Technology is only a piece of this picture and it's only as strong as the workflow and execution that surrounds it,” said Angela Pecoraro, Advicent's chief operating officer.


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