Again, SIFMA spent most money in financial services industry lobbying lawmakers

The trade association representing major brokerage firms spent $6.6 million in 2018

Feb 21, 2019 @ 2:22 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

SIFMA, the trade association representing major brokerage firms, spent more money lobbying lawmakers last year than Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments, Vanguard Group and other top financial services firms.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association spent $6.6 million to lobby federal lawmakers in 2018, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

That puts the trade group ahead of top-spending firms such as Goldman Sachs ($3.2 million) and Fidelity Investments ($3 million). Vanguard Group, Blackrock and Charles Schwab all spent around $2.7 million.

SIFMA has led the way in lobbying spending by a large margin since 2014. In 2017, the group spent $8.1 million. The approximately $1.5 million drop in SIFMA spending from 2017 to 2018 was due to a change in its government relations staffing. From 2014 through 2016, its spending hovered around $7.5 million.

The trade association that represents the mutual fund industry, the Investment Company Institute, also outspent individual firms. It has held steady around $5 million from 2014 through last year.

Of course, many of the top financial firms are also members of SIFMA and ICI and that may explain why they are not spending more money on an individual basis.

Another financial industry heavy hitter in lobbying was the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, which spent $2.4 million in 2018, up slightly from $2.3 million in 2017.

Lobbying spending, 2017-2018
Source: Center for Responsive Politics

"NAIFA's small increase in lobbying reflects inflation and increased activity in states, particularly regarding best-interest legislative proposal in several states," NAIFA chief executive Kevin Mayeux said in a statement. "On the national level, we are currently working to establish relationships with the many new members of Congress so that we can effectively educate and inform them on the important roles advisers play in providing financial security and protection to consumers."

Farther down the list in annual lobbying spending was the Financial Services Institute, which represents independent broker-dealers and financial advisers. It invested $480,000 in 2018 and $540,00 in 2017. The Insured Retirement Institute, which represents the annuities sector, spent $290,000 in 2018 and $460,000 in 2017.

Trade associations representing investment advisers once again spent far less on lobbying than broker and insurance groups. The Investment Adviser Association spent $220,000 in 2018, down slightly from $235,000 in 2017. The Financial Planning Association increased its lobbying spending to $37,500 in 2018 from $30,000 in 2017.

The Financial Planning Coalition — which includes FPA, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors — spent $30,000 in 2018, down from $70,000 in 2017.

"While we have continued to stay in front of lawmakers and administration officials, educating them about the importance of financial planning and CFP certification, the reason for the decrease in lobbying expenditures is pretty simple: there was far less congressional activity and rulemaking than before," Maureen Thompson, CFP Board vice president for public policy, said in a statement. "CFP Board has been actively focused on updating its standards and other initiatives."

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. also lobbies Congress. The brokerage industry self-regulator spent $440,000 in 2018, down from $600,000 in 2017. A spokesman declined to comment on the decrease in spending.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Upcoming Event

Mar 26


Huntington Beach Women Adviser Summit

The InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit, a one-day workshop now held in six cities due to popular demand, is uniquely designed for the sophisticated female adviser who wants to take her personal and professional self to the next level.... Learn more

Featured video


Female leaders highlighted as future of financial advice

InvestmentNews recognized 20 Women to Watch for their efforts to advance the financial advice industry.

Latest news & opinion

Finra panel dismisses $100 million case involving drop in Merrill Lynch stock

Former brokers bringing charges related to stock losses during financial crisis have had 15 cases proceed, four stopped so far.

Principal-Wells Fargo retirement deal would be among largest ever

Acquisition would be in line with trend of record keepers seeking to gain scale to combat fee reduction.

ESG options scarce in 401(k) plans

There's growing interest among plan participants, but reluctance to add funds that take into account environmental, social and governance factors persists.

Ameriprise getting ready to launch its bank

Firm's advisers will soon have access to lending products such as mortgages.

Envestnet acquires MoneyGuide for $500 million

Deal will allow Envestnet to deepen integrations between MoneyGuide and its other wealth management solutions.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print