George Michael Gerstein

George Michael Gerstein advises financial institutions on the fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA. As co-chair of the fiduciary governance group, he assists clients with tracking, and understanding, the numerous fiduciary developments at the federal and state levels, including the rules and regulations of governmental plans. He also advises clients with respect to the fiduciary duty implications of ESG investing.

Morningstar examines how ESG scores affect investor decisions

Ignites recently reported on a recent Morningstar paper regarding the influence of its ESG scoring system on investor decision-making. Evidently, investors are avoiding funds with low ESG scores but are not automatically seeking out funds with high ESG scores. According to the article, “A one-globe rating corresponded to a 3.7% lower growth rate over the tested period, the paper finds. Funds with better globe ratings did see higher growth rates, but the impact was much smaller — four-globe funds had a 1.5% higher growth rate while five-globe funds had a 1.4% higher rate.”

Trump White House asks DOL to explore e-delivery of 401(k) disclosure materials

President Donald Trump’s Executive Order, which he signed last Friday, contains a provision that requires the Department of Labor to prepare an analysis of allowing the electronic delivery of participant disclosures. It reads:

“(c)  Improving the Effectiveness of and Reducing the Cost of Furnishing Required Notices and Disclosures.  Within 1 year of the date of this order, the Secretary of Labor shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, complete a review of actions that could be taken through regulation or guidance, or both, to make retirement plan disclosures required under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 more understandable and useful for participants and beneficiaries, while also reducing the costs and burdens they impose on employers and other plan fiduciaries responsible for their production and distribution.  This review shall include an exploration of the potential for broader use of electronic delivery as a way to improve the effectiveness of disclosures and to reduce their associated costs and burdens.  If the Secretary of Labor finds that action should be taken, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, consider proposing appropriate regulations or guidance, consistent with applicable law and the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.”

Happy Labor Day

Matthews Asia says China’s A-Share market is “more investable than skeptics might think”

Matthews Asia has published an interesting white paper on the China A-share market and tries to address some of the confusion that persists among foreign investors.

Merrill Lynch reportedly reverses policy on banning IRA commissions

States looking for ‘Significant Improvements’ from SEC on Reg BI

Bloomberg Law reports on NASAA’s letter to the SEC seeking clarity on the meaning of “best interest” and greater disclosures from broker-dealers in a final version of Regulation Best Interest.

Wells Fargo reportedly drops plans to use T shares in retirement accounts

White House retirement security announcement coming Friday

Elad Roisman moves ahead for full Senate vote

Clayton takes aim at sales contests