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DOL Fiduciary News: May 11, 2017

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Insurance Groups Launch Anti-Fiduciary Ads

ThinkAdvisor; May 10, 2017

Opponents of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule are launching grassroots campaigns and taking to print and digital ads to voice their opinions that the rule should be stopped in its tracks — and should not kick in on June 9.

Americans to Protect Retirement Security ( has launched a print and digital ad campaign that the Labor Department “must act now” to delay the fiduciary regulation.

The group has also placed ads in Roll Call and The Hill, with plans to digitally advertise on Twitter the week of May 8 into the week of May 15.

DOL Chief Looks to Deep Freeze Fiduciary Rule

InsuranceNewsNet; May 10, 2017

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta wants to freeze the fiduciary rule in a way that will “stick,” according to an email a Senate aide sent to rule opponents on Tuesday.

Acosta told Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., that the rule is his No. 1 priority and that he recognized the urgency of the situation, according to an email from Scott’s aide. Acosta has not spoken publicly about the rule since his confirmation hearing in March.

The regulation had been delayed until June 9, at which point annuities sold with retirement money would fall under a fiduciary standard. Fixed indexed and variable annuities would be subject to the more rigorous Best Interest Contract Exemption and non-indexed annuities would come under the Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 84-24.

Talking 'Deep State' and fiduciary enforcement with Financial Engines CIO Chris Jones; May 10, 2017

In less than a month, advisors on retirement assets will be required to act as fiduciaries. Is the “Deep State” to blame for that?

Chris Jones, the Chief Investment Officer at Financial Engines, chuckles at the proposition.

Much of industry was taken by surprise when the fiduciary rule’s impartial conduct standards were kept in place after the Labor Department delayed implementation of the rule in April, Jones told BenefitsPro. Those standards require advisors to give non-conflicted advice on qualified retirement accounts, beginning June 9.

Labor’s decision to implement the impartial conduct standard was the result of a coordinated effort by career bureaucrats at the Department to resist the Trump Admiration, according to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and the Trump administration and its supporters.

LPL grabs Merrill Lynch breakaways in sign of fiduciary ‘disruption’

Financial Planning; May 09 2017, 5:58pm EDT

Four Merrill Lynch advisers managing $420 million have bolted to launch a boutique practice under LPL Financial after its CEO predicted the movement of advisers and assets under the fiduciary rule.

LPL CEO Dan Arnold told analysts in late April that the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer expects the Department of Labor rule to “create disruption” in coming months and years. The Choice Group Wealth Management of Melville, New York, registered with LPL the following day.

Ira Katz, Daniel McNicholas, John Scala and Bryce Wilinski joined both LPL’s broker-dealer and hybrid RIA platforms in a typical setup for the company’s licensed advisers, an LPL spokeswoman said Tuesday. The ex-Merrill brokers chose LPL to get better flexibility under the fiduciary rule, according to Katz, who is 42 years old.

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