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DOL Fiduciary News: January 23, 2017

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Financial industry expects quick action from Trump to delay DOL fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; Jan 20, 2017 @ 1:42 pm

Financial industry lobbyists on Friday were expecting quick action by the Trump administration to delay a Labor Department investment advice rule.

Staff members at two trade associations said they were anticipating a move as early as this afternoon, hours after Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, or on Monday.

It could come in the form of a directive from the White House to acting agency heads to delay regulations that aren't yet operational and to review them.

Recordkeepers Preparing for New Fiduciary Era

PLANSPONSOR.COM | January 20, 2017

Joe Ready, head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, sat down recently with PLANSPONSOR to discuss the firm’s expectations, opportunities and challenges amid the transition to a Trump presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress.

Ready suggested in no uncertain terms that Wells Fargo is “moving full steam ahead” on its effort to comply with the new Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary standards—even while he agreed that it is very plausible that the rulemaking could be halted or delayed prior to the first deadlines in April.

“The rule could be halted or it could come down right on schedule,” he muses. “We are staying the course on the plans we’ve announced so far and we will continue to do things in the best interest of the clients. It’s a no-brainer, from that perspective.”

2017 to be year of independent broker-dealer mergers

InvestmentNews; Jan 22, 2017 @ 12:01 am

If past is prologue, 2017 should see a steady pace of independent broker-dealer consolidation and mergers and acquisitions.

Last year saw transactions involving firms that house thousands of registered reps and financial advisers as the industry scrambled to deal with the costly and burdensome preparation for the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule for clients' retirement accounts.

The deals in 2016 ranged from the biggest names in the industry to more modest firms. Giant companies like the insurer American International Group Inc., with 5,000 retail advisers at AIG Advisor Group, got out of the business, while a midsize, rep-owned firm with 220 advisers, Foothill Securities, was acquired by Securities America Inc., part of the Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. network of firms.

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