From the April 2009 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

April 1, 2009

ICI Lays Out Reform Proposals

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Privacy Policies and Rules Whether an RIA is SEC or state-registered, the firm must have policies and procedures in effect to protect clients’ privacy. Policies and procedures should explicitly require an RIA to send out its privacy notice each year.
  • Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIA’s failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisor’s fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients’ transactions.

Investment Company Institute President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens, in testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, has outlined ICI's detailed proposal on how to reform the U.S. financial regulatory system, including specific recommendations to provide greater protections for investors and the marketplace.

These proposals include the creation or designation of a "systemic risk regulator" and the establishment of a new "capital markets regulator." The former would be charged with monitoring and mitigating risks across the financial system at large, and the latter would encompass the combined functions of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and set regulatory standards for registered investment companies, including money market funds.

Finally, Stevens provided an update on money market funds and reviewed the critical role they play in the U.S. economy, with about $3.9 trillion in assets currently. Stevens says ICI's Money Market Working Group, formed last November, "will [soon] issue a strong and comprehensive set of recommendations to enhance the way money market funds operate."

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