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Brokers decry cost, confusion of Merrill rule

November 7, 2005

NEW YORK - With only three months to go before the implementation of the Securities and Exchange Commission's latest revision of the so-called Merrill Lynch rule of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, compliance concerns are mounting among...

Riskier counterparts to money funds seek a wider audience

October 31, 2005

NEW YORK - More investors may soon gain access to what essentially are higher-risk counterparts to money market funds which traditionally have been open only to institutional and wealthy investors. Following the lead of Reserve Management Co....

Hedge fund activism concerns advocates of corporate governance

October 31, 2005

WASHINGTON - Hedge funds have become leaders of the shareholder activism movement, and they have some groups changing sides on the corporate-governance debate. Shareholder activism and access to company proxy ballots have been pushed by unions...

Portability arrives for variable annuities

October 31, 2005

IRVINE, Calif. - Annuities are becoming more portable. The Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. of New York has launched a new service, ACATS/IPS, that electronically transfers annuity account information between brokerage firms. ACATS is the...

Advisers seek profit angle in Bernanke nod

October 31, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Most experts and politicians are thrilled to put Ben S. Bernanke behind the steering wheel of the U.S. economy, but financial advisers say that they are more interested in how it will affect their investments. The nomination...

CFA Institute would tighten financial-reporting standards

October 31, 2005

WASHINGTON - The organization that set the gold standard for how mutual fund companies report fund performance wants rulemakers to require public companies to put more of their financial obligations on their books, including pension debt. On...

ACLI, members at odds over NASD

October 24, 2005

WASHINGTON - While the American Council of Life Insurers is looking to make nice with NASD, some of its members are talking about suing the regulatory agency. Both Gary Hughes, ACLI executive vice president, and a lawyer who represents insurance...

Some fear decline of 403(b) plans under new law

October 24, 2005

NEW YORK - Brokers and financial planners who sell to retirement plans for non-profit institutions such as public schools could see their livelihoods wiped out by coming changes in the tax code that would make it more difficult to service 403(b)...

SEC requests industry group help in training

October 24, 2005

WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked the hedge fund industry to help train SEC staff to inspect the estimated 1,260 hedge fund investment advisers expected to register by February. The SEC's office of compliance inspections...

NASAA publishes list of considerations for reg actions

October 17, 2005

WASHINGTON - State securities regulators have published a list of considerations to be taken into account when punishing brokerage firms for regulatory violations. While the brokerage industry supports the action, state regulators clearly want...

Congress close to passing measure on 401(k) advice

October 17, 2005

WASHINGTON - Congress is getting closer to enacting pension legislation that will make it easier for 401(k) participants to get investment advice. But lobbyists for financial planners question whether the Department of Labor will be able to...

Suit over hedge fund registration on, but industry isn't holding its breath

October 17, 2005

DETROIT - Against all odds, Phillip Goldstein is pushing ahead with a lawsuit challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission's authority to require hedge fund managers to register as investment advisers. Mr. Goldstein, manager of the $73...

Alliance, MFS faring best after market-timing woes

October 10, 2005

BOSTON - Two years after Eliot L. Spitzer's market-timing dragnet, AllianceBernstein Capital Management LP and MFS Investment Management Inc. are the strongest asset gatherers among firms that paid hefty fines to settle with regulators. Money...

New deferred-comp regs seen as boon to planner business

October 10, 2005

CHICAGO - The new rules governing non-qualified deferred-compensation plans will be a boon for business, say financial planners working with top-paid executives. "It is increasing the need for planning, because with more restrictions and complexity...

Operational risk back in the spotlight

October 10, 2005

NEW YORK - Operational and political risk are back in vogue, thanks to the Enron Corp.-type blowups and to regulatory changes implemented in recent years, according to a new Bank of New York Co. Inc. survey endorsed by Harry Markowitz, the money...

Market-timing charges cut across industry models

October 10, 2005

NEW YORK - The latest enforcement action against alleged improper mutual fund trading has affected a variety of broker-dealers, cutting across the industry's business models. NASD of Washington last Monday hit a trio of firms, each with distinct...

NASD to crack down on ETF, separates sales

October 3, 2005

NEW YORK - NASD soon might be taking a hard look at how broker-dealers and their registered representatives sell exchange traded funds and separate accounts, as well as other investment products. Robert Glauber, NASD chairman, in New York last...

Dispute forum for analysts eyed

October 3, 2005

WASHINGTON - The association that represents securities analysts wants to serve as a forum to resolve disputes between analysts and public companies, taking the Securities and Exchange Commission out of the equation. The CFA Institute in Charlottesville,...

MFS adopts open platform, level commissions

September 26, 2005

CHICAGO - To stay competitive in the 401(k) plan market, MFS Retirement Services Inc. in Boston is switching to an open-architecture platform, doubling its support staff and moving toward equalized commissions for advisers. "As far as level...

Brokers curtail equity- indexed-annuity sales

September 26, 2005

IRVINE, Calif. - Independent-contractor brokerage firms are taking steps to restrict the sale of equity-indexed annuities in response to pressure from NASD of Washington. Currently, most independent firms allow their reps to sell fixed annuities...

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