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DOL Fiduciary News: October 23, 2017

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FINRA Ready to Provide ‘Technical’ Aid on Fiduciary Rule, Legal Chief Says

ThinkAdvisor; October 20, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority stands ready to provide “technical assistance” to the Labor Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission as the two agencies coordinate a fiduciary rulemaking, said Robert Colby, FINRA’s chief legal officer.

Speaking on a panel at the National Society of Compliance Professionals national conference in Washington Monday, Colby said that FINRA “would love to see a best-interest standard applied that was similarly applied across the broker-dealer world.”

FINRA “commented” on Labor’s rule that the commission was the right agency to craft a fiduciary standard, Colby said. FINRA “still thinks that. You don’t get a lot of second opportunities in Washington, but the SEC has a second chance to come up with its own rule and work with the DOL to get to a coordinated standard.”

PANC 2017: Practical Fiduciary Practices

PLANADVISER | October 20, 2017

Retirement plan committees have a host of responsibilities—most of them fiduciary. To help them fulfill their varied, and demanding, fiduciary role, advisers can turn to a number of practical strategies.

Jania Stout, practice leader and co-founder of Fiduciary Plan Advisors, and moderator of “Practical Fiduciary Practices,” Thursday, at the 2017 PLANADVISER National Conference (PANC), said her firm doesn’t build materials for committee meetings itself, but looks to providers, law groups or industry-related articles. Mostly the same message can be delivered to all clients, she said, and advisers don’t have to create their own content.

For plan sponsors lacking internal staff with investment expertise, a good foundation to build on is an investment policy statement (IPS), said Jason Trine, managing director – investment platform distribution, at Principal. “Plan sponsor clients don’t have to have [an IPS], but it is good for laying the groundwork of what the adviser and the client are going to do,” he said. “Some providers, such as Principal, have model ones plan committees can use.” Trine reiterates that the overarching theme is to have a process for accomplishing goals with clients.

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