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DOL Fiduciary News: February 28, 2017

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Merrill could pivot on fiduciary pledge

Financial Planning; February 27 2017, 3:00pm EST

Merrill Lynch may consider delaying or reversing some previously announced policies meant to comply with the fiduciary rule, including a pledge to cease offering commission-based retirement accounts.

Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch, says his firm has been working to deliver a best interest standard of care for clients. But he says that "operational changes" are possible if the rule is delayed or overturned. President Trump made recent moves to do just that.

When asked if Merrill would stick to its previous commitment to phase out commission-based retirement accounts, Sieg demurred.

Fate of fiduciary rule rides on regulators' political savvy

InvestmentNews (blog); Feb 27, 2017 @ 2:29 pm

Politics and policy are inextricably linked in Washington. The former is always required to make any substantive advances in the latter. Regulation of financial advice is primary example — and two recent developments show why.

On Friday, Securities and Exchange Commission Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar made his first major address while serving in his temporary position. A former Republican aide on the Senate Banking Committee, Mr. Piwowar showed that he has a pretty good grasp of politics.

Trump Move Keeps DOL Fiduciary Rule Implementation Imminent

Forbes, FEB 27, 2017 @ 08:55 AM

President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order on Feb. 3, 2017, addressing the Department of Labor's fiduciary duty rule. However, with a mere two months left until the April 10 implementation date, those opposed to the DOL rule as well as those in favor should view the Executive Order as a political move that will change nothing in the short term, for two reasons: it did not change the timeline, and the investment industry is well down the path toward being ready for April.


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