Best Interest

Live Blogging: Reg BI – “recommendation”

Larry notes that “recommendation” is not defined in Reg BI. Ultimately, turns on whether communication could be reasonably be viewed as a call to action and implicit hold recommendations. It does not include: general financial/investment information, general descriptive information re. retirement plans, asset allocation models, certain interactive tools, advertising/marketing.

Live Blogging – SEC standards of conduct rulemaking

Three members of Stradley’s Fiduciary Governance Group are currently presenting on the SEC’s significant rulemaking re. broker-dealer and investment adviser standards of conduct. Larry Stadulis is the first to speak and tackles Reg BI. The policy objectives of Reg BI are:

  • designed to improve consumer protection, particularly against conflicts of interest;
  • designed to help retail investors to better understand and compare investment options and clarity over standards of conduct.

Larry notes that Reg BI does not impose “full blown fiduciary status” on broker-dealers and that there is not a uniform fiduciary standard for investment advisers and broker-dealers.

Impact of New SEC Regulation Best Interest and Other Standards of Conduct Rules on Broker-Dealers, Investment Advisers and Investment Companies

As a reminder, Larry Stadulis, Sara Crovitz and John Baker will host an on-demand webinar via Strafford tomorrow at 1:00 pm EDT to discuss the recent adoption of Regulation Best Interest, Form CRS and other rules and interpretations, and their effect on registered investment advisers, registered broker-dealers and investment companies. Though this webinar has a fee, CLE is available. They will explain the practical implications for broker-dealers, investment advisers and investment companies on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new standard of conduct rules and guidance. Specifically, they will discuss:

  • Regulation Best Interest: How and why the SEC adopted, and the implications for firms of, a standard of conduct for broker-dealers and their associated natural persons when making a recommendation to a retail customer of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities.
  • Form CRS: How and why the SEC adopted, and the implications for firms of, a requirement for registered investment advisers and registered broker-dealers to provide a Form CRS relationship summary to retail investors.
  • Standard of Conduct for Investment Advisers: How and why the SEC adopted, and the implications for firms of, an interpretation of the standard of conduct for investment advisers.
  • “Solely Incidental”: How and why the SEC adopted, and the implications for firms of, an interpretation of the “solely incidental” prong of section 202(a)(11)(C) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, which provides that the term “investment adviser” does not include any broker or dealer whose performance of investment advisory services is solely incidental to the conduct of his business as a broker or dealer and who receives no special compensation therefor.

Registration for the webinar can be found here. The webinar will supplement our extensive analysis on the entire SEC rulemaking.

Alan Goldberg & Larry Stadulis quoted in AdvisorNews re. implementing the SEC’s standards of conduct package

CFP Board delays implementation of fiduciary standard

Clayton indicates that Reg BI examinations will begin as soon as rule takes effect

According to FinancialPlanning/OWS, Jay Clayton, “Once Regulation Best Interest takes effect next June, SEC and FINRA examiners plan to begin scrutinizing how firms are complying with the new rules.” He said the SEC was already working with FINRA on that front.

Blass and Peirce contrast broker-dealer and investment adviser standards

Peirce expresses openness to extending Reg BI implementation deadline if firm shows good faith compliance efforts

Her comments, as reported by InvestmentNews, were made at the recent SIFMA seminar.

Jay Clayton’s speech on Regulation Best Interest and the Investment Adviser Fiduciary Duty

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

Here is a copy of Chairman Clayton’s recent speech on broker-dealer and investment adviser standards of conduct.

Clayton defends standards of conduct rulemaking

As reported in Bloomberg, Jay Clayton characterized various objections to Regulation Best Interest and other parts of the rulemaking as “false, misleading” and in some cases, “policy preferences disguised as legal critiques.”” He also dismissed claims that the SEC’s interpretive release effectively lowered the standard of conduct for investment advisers. These remarks were made as part of a speech in Boston this week.