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DOL Fiduciary News: July 27, 2017


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Jay Clayton says SEC, DOL can give market 'clarity' on fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; July 26, 2017 @ 1:40 pm

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton expressed confidence Wednesday that his agency and the Labor Department could reach "common ground" on an investment advice standard across all accounts.

In an appearance at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, Mr. Clayton acknowledged that the partially implemented DOL fiduciary rule "is on the books," but said he is concerned about differing rules for the same clients depending whether they're working with their adviser on retirement or other investments.

"That doesn't seem right," Mr. Clayton said. "We have our mandate; they have theirs. But I'm very hopeful that we can reach common ground. There's enough overlap in our mandates where we can get to a place of clarity. I think that we all want the same thing: We want what's best for the Main Street investor to save for their retirement."

DOL Official: Help Me Improve Fiduciary Rule

InsuranceNewsNet; July 26, 2017

The best way the insurance industry can affect change on the Department of Labor fiduciary rule is by providing current data to regulators, a top department official said today.

Timothy Hauser, deputy assistant secretary for program operations, is considered the man behind the fiduciary rule. But that was during the Obama administration – the rule was published in April 2016.

Speaking on a call with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Hauser made it clear he works for President Donald J. Trump now. In a Feb. 3 memorandum, Trump ordered the DOL to further study the economic and legal ramifications of the rule.

DOL Fiduciary RFI Process Extends a Decade of Uncertainty

PLANADVISER | July 26, 2017

Rob Cirrotti, managing director and head of retirement and investment solutions at Pershing LLC, is leading the company’s efforts to help registered investment advisers (RIAs) and broker/dealers comply with the Department of Labor’s expanding fiduciary rule.

The DOL rulemaking remains an incredibly divisive and unpredictable topic, Cirrotti says, despite literally a decade of debate and discussion among regulators and providers striving to find a workable middle ground.  

“We have been spending a lot of energy as a firm on making sure our advisory clients have what they need as it relates to fiduciary rule compliance,” he tells PLANADVISER. “What we have clearly heard from clients is that, for many of them, this is going to be a pretty dramatic change in how they run their business and do their compliance efforts, especially if the rulemaking is fully implemented on such an aggressive schedule. It’s no surprise, then, to see that they are very closely watching the latest, possibly final, request for information process opened up by the DOL under President Trump on this issue.”

CFP Board’s Fiduciary Standard Provides ‘More Freedom’ Than DOL’s

ThinkAdvisor; July 25, 2017

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has received more than 1,000 comments on the proposed revisions to its Standards of Professional Conduct that were announced in mid-June.

On Tuesday morning, the CFP Board held a public forum in New York City to review and discuss its proposal. There are five remaining public forums throughout the United States this week, and the 60-day public comment period for the draft of proposed revisions ends Aug. 21.

The Commission on Standards, which was in charge of reviewing and recommending to the Board of Directors proposed changes to the standards, will then meet in September and review all the comments. According to Ray Ferrara, chairman of the Commission on Standards, the panel will then submit any changes to the draft to the Board at its November meeting.

With DOL rule prep work done, Ameriprise turns attention to growth; Wednesday, July 26, 2017 11:12 AM ET

Ameriprise Financial Inc.'s top executive is ready to invest more time and money into growing its business, particularly in the advisory space, now that work preparing for the implementation of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is mostly in the rear-view mirror.

Chairman and CEO James Cracchiolo on a second-quarter earnings conference call noted that the company conducted a series of webcasts and more than 100 training sessions in the last few months to get its advisers ready for the June 9 partial implementation of the rule. In addition to preparing advisers on how to respond to the rule, Ameriprise also spent months moving away from advisory products with 12b-1 fees. That shift lowered first-quarter revenues by $34 million, but did not have much of an impact on the second quarter as Cracchiolo told investors and analysts on the call that the process was completed in April.

The Ameriprise CEO said that as the company frees up resources it had been dedicating to DOL-related activities, it will be able to accelerate its organic investment.

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