More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Scope of the Fiduciary Duty Owed by Investment Advisors A fiduciary obligation goes beyond the suitability standard typically owed by registered representatives of broker-dealer firms to clients. The relationship is built on the premise that the advisor will always do the right thing for the person or entity receiving advice.
- Client Communication and Miscommunication RIA policies and procedures must specify what type of communications should be retained. The safest course of action is for RIAs to retain all communicationsto clients, from clients, and about client accounts. To comply with fiduciary obligations, communications must be thorough and not mislead.
Well, the Obama Administration has come out with its sweeping recommendations "to restore confidence in the of integrity of our financial system" in a massive 85-page white paper. In it the President's team proposes a five-part initiative to increase regulation of virtually every corner of American finance from banks to brokerage firms to insurance, expanding the power of the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the SEC, and creating too many new councils and agencies for me to tally up. (You probably don't recall that Herbert Hoover tried the same thing in 1929: It didn't work out so well.)
For the independent advisory world, the most direct impact of the White Paper appears in a single sentence (which is not even in the Summary, you have to read the whole thing to find it), under the third initiative entitled "Protect Consumers and Investors from Financial Abuse." The second point of the third section (on page 14 for those of you who are following along) reads: "The SEC should be given new tools to increase fairness for investors by establishing a fiduciary duty for broker-dealers offering investment advice and harmonizing the regulation of investment advisors and broker-dealers."
To read the rest of Bob's blog, please click here.