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DOL Fiduciary News: December 2, 2016

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Wells Fargo to keep brokerage retirement plans under fiduciary rule

Reuters; Thu Dec 1, 2016 | 2:33pm EST

Wells Fargo & Co said it will continue to offer individual retirement accounts that pay brokers commissions and will adjust procedures to comply with a new U.S. financial regulation that requires companies to put clients' interests first, according to a memo sent to staff on Thursday.

Wells became the latest bank brokerage to announce plans to adopt the U.S. Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, set to take effect in April. The regulation aims to eliminate conflicts of interest in the financial advice Americans receive on retirement accounts by requiring firms to change how brokers get paid.

Fixed indexed annuities: Insurers playing ‘game of chicken’ as courts decide DOL rule’s fate; December 1, 2016

Insurance carriers that offer fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) remain tight-lipped as to how they intend to market the products after the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is implemented, according to one annuity industry analyst.

“This is the biggest game of chicken we are ever going to see in the insurance market,” said Sheryl Moore, president and CEO of Wink, Inc., a Des Moines-based provider of analytics tools to the insurance industry.

Strategic Response [fiduciary rule]

Best's Review (December 1st, 2016 Issue) 

When John Vaccaro looks back over his 25-year career, he's hard-pressed to find a time when the industry wasn't dealing with shifting regulations.

"There is always something," Vaccaro, senior vice president at MassMutual, said. "There hasn't been a year without some kind of change.

This year, however, the regulatory shift has been profound. The Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule, that holds financial advisers who work with tax-advantaged savings to a higher standard of behavior, has been called a game-changer for the life insurance industry.

DOL Compliance: The New Growth Industry

Financial Advisor; December 2016 print edition

While it’s unclear whether the Trump administration will try—or even be able—to scuttle the implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for retirement accounts set for April 2017, financial technology providers are steadily unveiling new products aimed at boosting compliance.

Envestnet Inc., a leading provider of technology and services for investment advisors, recently announced new software designed to help advisors using its wealth management and retirement platforms prove they are acting in the best interest of clients, as required by the new rule. The enhancements will help advisors assess clients’ financial situations and goals, develop compliant portfolios, rationalize fees, and meet documentation and disclosure requirements, among other factors.

What Phyllis Borzi has to say about the DOL rule now

InvestmentNews; Dec 1, 2016 @ 4:05 pm

Labor Assistant Secretary Phyllis Borzi said the agency's investment advice regulation is already reducing fees in the industry and will continue to do so — no matter what happens to the rule in the Trump administration.

The regulation, which requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients when providing retirement advice, has led to “low-cost, transparent investments for retirement accounts.”

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