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DOL Fiduciary News: March 10, 2017

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Moving Ahead with Fiduciary Plans, Merrill Signals It May Still Offer Commissions

The Wall Street Journal; March 9, 2017 7:23 p.m. ET

While sweeping retirement rules face a delay, Merrill Lynch may not do away entirely with commission-based retirement accounts after all.

Executives told the Bank of America Corp. unit’s more-than 14,500 brokers in a conference call Thursday it planned to move ahead with plans to shift most of its retirement savers to accounts that charge a fee based on a percentage of assets from those that charge a commission, according people with knowledge of the matter.

However, Merrill head Andy Sieg admitted such conversions may not work for all of its customers, signaling the firm may ease off its plan to completely do away with Wall Street’s traditional sales model of charging commissions in individual retirement accounts.

LPL puts final touches on product lineups in preparation for fiduciary rule

Bank Investment Consultant; March 09 2017, 1:24pm EST

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Advisers affiliated with LPL will soon be free of any perception that they are conflicted even if the implementation of the fiduciary rule is delayed beyond the April 10 deadline.

The firm has been pushing to standardize its investment products so that products within the same category have the same commission rates and contingent deferred sales charges, an important goal in eliminating the conflicts of interest at the heart of the new regulation, according to Arthur Osman, a top executive in the division of LPL that supports banks and credit unions.

Expect a spring torrent of new mutual fund share classes

InvestmentNews; Mar 8, 2017 @ 2:26 pm

If you thought there were enough mutual fund share classes already, just wait. The fund industry is expecting a flood of new share classes this year, sparked in part by the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule.

To set the stage: the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund trade association, counted 8,100 mutual funds at the end January and 25,236 share classes, or about three share classes per fund.

But that tally doesn't include the rollout of new T shares and so-called clean shares this year. Morningstar estimates that funds will introduce 3,800 new T shares this year, and a growing number of fund companies are looking to introduce clean shares as well.

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