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DOL Fiduciary News: October 20, 2016

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ERISA attorneys dismiss rumors of DOL fiduciary rule delay; October 19, 2016

Rumors circulating within the financial services industry that the Department of Labor is considering delaying the fiduciary rule’s effective date are largely unsubstantiated, according to Brad Campbell, an attorney in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group with Drinker Biddle.

“DOL has said nothing officially, and I’ve heard nothing unofficially about whether it would decide to extend the deadline,” said Campbell, addressing an audience of advisors and industry stakeholders in a recent webinar he co-hosted with Fred Reish, chair of Drinker Biddle’s Financial Services ERISA team.

IMOs Dance with DOL on Fiduciary Rule Deadline 

InsuranceNewsNet; October 19, 2016

Futurity First Financial is proceeding as though it will be granted “financial institution” status by the Department of Labor, enabling it to do business under new fiduciary rules.

But time is running short for the independent marketing organization to make a seamless transition, said Futurity CEO Mike Kalen.

Futurity owns three IMOs and, with $2.5 billion in sales, is one of the biggest sellers of fixed and fixed indexed products. In many ways, the company is a test case of sorts on whether the industry can adapt to controversial new regulations and continue to thrive.

DOL rule: Ex-NAIFA chief readies practice for the new regime; October 19, 2016

Much of the current discussion about the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule is focused on the pending burdens: how much the new regulations will cost in education and training, needed changes to business processes, and other new compliance requirements.

These are coming down the pike, but so too are opportunities to grow one’s practice under a DOL regime. Transitioning to fee-based compensation could, for example, put your practice on more solid footing, as business revenue would be less dependent on new sales. Also to weigh: the prospect of growing your practice — potentially significantly — by acquiring books of business from retiring advisors unwilling to operate under the fiduciary rule.

In the wake of the DOL fiduciary rule, will adviser M&A surge?

InvestmentNews; Oct 19, 2016 @ 1:38 pm

In the wake of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, is it deal or no deal for advisers looking to sell their firms?

Two leading financial advice industry executives gave pointedly different answers to that question Wednesday morning at an industry conference in New York.

Mark Tibergien, CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions, said deal making will increase, particularly for registered investment adviser firms with $50 million to $500 million in assets under management that may have trouble coping with the new regulation.

Morgan Stanley’s Gorman on DOL: Choice for Clients ‘Is Critical’

ThinkAdvisor; October 19, 2016

Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley frequently go head to head in the wealth-management business, and they (of course) don’t always see eye to eye.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman alluded to their divergent approaches to the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule on a call with equity analysts on Wednesday.

Gorman was asked specially if the firm’s approach would differ from a large competitor, i.e., Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, which recently said it does not plan to use the Best Interest Contract (or BIC) exemption and thus will not offer clients commission-based retirement accounts.

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