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DOL Fiduciary News: November 22, 2016

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Reversal on IRA-commission stance unlikely for Merrill if DOL fiduciary rule repealed  

InvestmentNews; Nov 21, 2016 @ 2:14 pm

It's highly unlikely Merrill Lynch would reverse its position on scrapping IRA commissions if the Labor Department's fiduciary rule were to be repealed under Donald Trump's administration, according to industry-watchers.

Marketing plays a large role in this analysis, they say. As the first wirehouse to announce compliance plans for the regulation, which affects investment advice in retirement accounts, Merrill Lynch has heavily promoted its wholesale shift to advisory fees over brokerage commission as being in clients' best interests.

AEGON poised to benefit if Trump rolls back US investment advisory rules; Monday, November 21, 2016 10:35 AM ET

Rising U.S. bond yields after Donald Trump's election victory are a boon for life insurers in Europe and elsewhere that can look forward to an investment income boost, but one Dutch insurer in particular might be among the biggest winners under a Trump presidency.

AEGON NV could benefit if Trump's administration waters down or even abandons a set of tough new regulations governing how financial advisers must act. Due to come into force in April 2017, the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule puts much more onerous responsibilities on financial advisers, potentially making them more reticent to sell the variable annuities that AEGON markets in the U.S. through its Transamerica Corp. unit.

Coalition Urges Trump Not to Dump DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

ThinkAdvisor; November 21, 2016

Fiduciary advocates are urging the incoming Trump administration to spare the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, as government lawyers press a Washington judge not to put on hold his recent ruling that upheld the merits of the regulations.

As speculation intensifies that the fiduciary rule could be on the chopping block or significantly curtailed under President Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress, members of the SaveOurRetirement Steering Group—AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Americans for Financial Reform, Better Markets, Consumer Federation of America and the Pension Rights Center—issued a statement telling Trump to “make good on his election talk by supporting the rule—and choosing regular Americans over Wall Street.”

Cogent Reports: DFA, Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, DoubleLine and American Funds Earn Strongest Loyalty among Growing Segment of Fee-Based Advisors 

November 21, 2016 09:00 AM EST

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- New forces are converging that could dramatically alter the advisor landscape in the coming years. As the ranks of financial advisors shrink, fee-based advisors represent an expanding segment. In fact, predominantly fee-based advisors (those earning at least three-quarters of their total compensation from asset-based fees) now comprise four in 10 financial advisors. DFA, Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, DoubleLine and American Funds earn the strongest loyalty among this increasingly important target market. While consistency of fund performance and having a distinctive company investment philosophy remain critical, fees and expenses offer the greatest potential to enhance loyalty among users who are predominantly fee-based. These and other findings are from Advisor Brandscape®, a Cogent Reports™ study released by Market Strategies International.

“Firms overlook this group of advisors at their peril,” said Meredith Lloyd Rice, a vice president at Market Strategies and author of the report. “We’ve heard from many advisors who feel the DOL fiduciary ruling is pushing them toward a fee-based compensation structure. For mutual fund managers seeking to secure and strengthen relationships with these high-end producers, highlighting consistent, long-term investment performance and value for the money is even more important to convey.”

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