More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- 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 RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors 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.
- Agency and Principal Transactions In passing Section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act, Congress recognized that principal and agency transactions can be harmful to clients. Such transactions create the opportunity for RIAs to engage in self-dealing.
As FSI’s fall membership renewal campaign ramps into high gear, my team and I would like to thank you for your engagement in the fight to defend your business. With your help, 2012 has been a year of extraordinary membership growth and advocacy success as we work to secure a more business-friendly regulatory environment for our members, both in Washington, D.C. and in the states.
Your membership and engagement in FSI is even more important than you may realize, both to your business and to our entire industry. Without your membership and involvement, the independent financial advisor model as we know it might not exist today, while the business that you have worked so hard to build would be operating under a very different set of rules.
Picture trying to run your business in an environment …
- In which you and your fellow advisors are prohibited from charging commissions for IRA advice.
- In which your 12b-1 fees are gone, vanished into thin air.
- Where your independent contractor status is null and void and you are forced to become an employee of your broker-dealer.
- Where your clients cannot invest in variable annuities and other tax-deferred tools because Washington went on yet another revenue grab.
- Where money market mutual funds and stretch IRAs are a thing of the past and are no longer options for your clients.
These seismic changes to your business and the threats they represent to your clients are not only possible, but they would have already been enacted if not for your involvement in FSI!
As a member of FSI, you and 35,000 of your fellow independent financial advisor members—along with over 100 independent financial services firms and sponsors—give our industry the resources necessary to fight these critical battles with one collective, unified and effective voice.
Your membership enables our team of experts to fight for you and your business day in and day out with dedication and focus. It also provides you with a firewall protecting your clients’ ability to afford your advice from the very real threats and unintended consequences of the growing mountain of rules and regulations from Washington, D.C. and the states.
If you would like to learn more about the specifics of what FSI does for you every day, please go to www.financialservices.org, where you will see, in full transparency, every detail of our fight not just for your survival, but for your success in the years to come. You may not be familiar with each issue where we are fighting on your behalf, but that’s why you have us—in the lead, taking the shots and forging ahead to create a healthier, more business-friendly regulatory environment in which you and your business can thrive.
With your ongoing active engagement in FSI over the coming year, we can say with certainty, Yes We Will!
- Yes We Will! reform regulation through education and representation in Washington, D.C. and the states.
- Yes We Will! protect the independent business model.
- Yes We Will! ensure our clients have access to quality, affordable financial advice and products.
- Yes We Will! create a unified and effective voice for the industry that will reverberate from coast to coast.
- Yes We Will! thrive one day in a healthier, more business-friendly regulatory environment.
Please stay active and engaged with FSI in the year ahead—do it for yourself, for our industry and for your clients. Do it and, together, we’ll say “Yes We Will!” to a brighter future for independent financial advisors.
Dale E. Brown, CAE
President and CEO
Financial Services Institute