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Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Beginning of Fiduciary Clarity May Be Just Around the Corner

News summary by MFWire's editors

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and his fellow commissioners may provide some official, long-awaited fiduciary clarity as soon as next week.

Yesterday Brent Fields, secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission, publicly revealed details for the regulatory agency's next open meeting, scheduled for next Wednesday, April 18, at 3:30pm at SEC headquarters in Washington, D.C. All three matters to be considered are pieces in the SEC's puzzle to supersede the DoL's controversial, now-possibly-dead fiduciary rule with something more universal.

ThinkAdvisor picked up on the notice.

The three matters on the agenda are:

  1. "whether to propose new and amended rules and forms to require registered investment advisers and registered broker-dealers to provide a brief relationship summary to retail investors," which might translate into some sort of disclosures around potential conflicts of interest, fiduciary status, and/or business model;

  2. "whether to propose a rule to establish a standard of conduct for broker-dealers and natural persons who are associated persons of a broker-dealer when making a recommendation of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities to retail customer," i.e. perhaps some kind of best-interest standard replacement for the BICE (best interest contract exemption) that the DoL created to go along with its fiduciary reg; and

  3. "whether to propose a Commission interpretation of the standard of conduct for investment advisers," i.e. applying the same best-interest standard to FAs of all stripes, both registered reps (brokers) and IARs (fee-only advisers).

The meeting is open to fundsters and other members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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