More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Scope of the Fiduciary Duty Owed by Investment Advisors A fiduciary obligation goes beyond the suitability standard typically owed by registered representatives of broker-dealer firms to clients. The relationship is built on the premise that the advisor will always do the right thing for the person or entity receiving advice.
- Proxy Voting RIAs are not required to vote proxies on behalf of their clients. However, when an RIA does assume responsibility for voting proxies, the firm’s policies and procedures should help to ensure that votes are cast in the best interest of clients.
Independent advisors remain opposed to the Department of Labor’s pending rule to redefine the term fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and they also predict that Republicans will gain control of the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections, according to a just-released poll by the Financial Services Institute.
The poll of FSI advisor members was released Wednesday and gauged advisors’ attitudes on the midterm elections as well as “critical industry issues” they face. When asked by FSI if they believed DOL should "redefine the definition of 'fiduciary' for financial advisors effectively banning the earning of commissions on IRA advice," 90% of respondents said they were opposed to the DOL’s redraft. Ninety-one percent of advisors said they opposed the DOL redraft in FSI’s 2013 poll.
(FSI polled its 37,000 advisor members for the survey in mid-June; 2,331 responded.)
Industry officials recently told ThinkAdvisor that the White House’s National Economic Council will be performing “industry outreach” regarding DOL’s redraft, and that the NEC is part of a White House working group that’s focusing on DOL’s fiduciary rulemaking. The redraft release date has been pushed to January.
“Our independent financial advisor members have a unique vantage point on these issues as they work closely with Main Street American investors on a daily basis,” said Dale Brown, FSI’s president and CEO, in a statement. Advisor opposition to the DOL’s fiduciary proposal “has also held strong over the past year. We see no sign of complacency creeping in as the rule is postponed yet again.”
Sixty-six percent of advisors polled said that the Republican Party will gain control of the Senate after the elections in November, while less than half of advisors (43%) said equities will have a “strong show” during the remainder of 2014.
On other critical issues they face, only 41% of advisors said that they had a succession plan finalized and in place, and 15% of advisors said they planned to retire or sell their practice in the next one to five years.
Check out Are 401(k) Revenue-Sharing Deals on Their Way Out? on ThinkAdvisor.