The flavors of fiduciary status under ERISA

Bill Mandia discusses New York’s new best interest and its effect on the sale of annuities

Fiduciary Governance Group member Bill Mandia recently spoke with Fund Intelligence regarding the market’s response to the New York Department of Financial Services’ ‘Best Interest’ regulation. It was reported that 8 firms have suspended the sale of fee-based annuities in New York until there is further guidance from the regulator. Bill noted, in part, that the new rules present numerous compliance challenges and sets a new (high) bar.

Scalia nomination update

Senator Lamar Alexander (R – TN), chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, announced that there will be a final panel vote on September 24 re. Eugene Scalia’s nomination to be the next DOL Secretary.

TDFs as targets in ERISA litigation

Climate change risk disclosure and Regulation S-K

In their Joint Statement on the proposed changes to Regulation S-K, Commissioners Jackson and Lee note the following in respect of disclosure of climate change risk:

“Additionally, the proposal does not seek comment on whether to include the topic of climate risk in the Description of Business under Item 101.  Estimates of the scale of that risk vary, but what is clear is that investors of all kinds view the risk as an important factor in their decision-making process. Yet it remains tough for investors to obtain useful climate-related disclosure. One argument against mandating such disclosure is that climate risk is too difficult to quantify with acceptable accuracy. Whatever one thinks about disclosure of climate risk, research shows that we are long past the point of being unable to meaningfully measure a company’s sustainability profile.”

The Commissioners encourage commenters to provide data and analysis on whether climate change risk transparency should be addressed in a final rule.

Munis and ESG?

Ninth Circuit rules arbitration permissible in 401(k) litigation

Funds to double-check their benchmark index after Vanguard mishap?

States sue SEC over Reg BI