Public Policy Forum to Discuss 'Fiduciary Duty in a Brokerage Setting'

Scholars, practitioners and regulators to gather in Washington on Sept. 24

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As the SEC continues its study of whether brokers who provide advice to individual investors must, like investment advisors, put investors' interests first, fiduciary thinkers from academic, industry and regulatory backgrounds will gather in Washington D.C. The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard (the Committee), announced a Public Policy Forum: Applying the Fiduciary Standard to the Delivery of Investment Advice, to be held on September 24.

Four industry groups have joined the Committee in sponsoring the Public Policy Forum: the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Financial Planning Association, Financial Services Institute and National Association of Personal Financial Planners.

"We seek to offer the SEC the very best research-based analysis and independent thinking on how to apply the fiduciary standard in a brokerage setting unconditionally; such that the client is guaranteed his interests remain ahead of the advisor's, irrespective of the compensation method, business model or, frankly, his or her own sophistication. All investors must be treated equally before the law," Knut A. Rostad, chairman of the Committee for the Fiduciary Standard, told Wealth Manager. (This editor is a member of the Committee.)

The Forum, according to a news release on Wednesday, August 11, will discuss white papers gathered in a "Call for Papers" by the Boston University Review of Banking & Financial Law and the Committee. Academics and practitioners are invited to submit papers of 1,250 to 4,000 words by August 31. Selected papers will be published in the Review, featured at the forum and/or presented to the SEC.

Two leading lights in fiduciary thought, Professors Tamar Frankel, of Boston University, and Arthur Laby, from Rutgers University, are among the invited speakers at the forum.

"On the heels of the financial crisis, this is the first major review with prospective rulemaking on the responsibilities of brokers and advisors in 70 years," stated Rostad in the news release. "To say it's important to investors and the capital markets is an understatement."

Comments? Please send them to kmcbride@wealthmanagerweb.com. Kate McBride is editor in chief of Wealth Manager and a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.

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