As the Senate and House conferees get back to work on Tuesday, June 22, the critical vote on whether to apply a fiduciary standard to brokers is expected. The conferees will also vote on whether to approve an amendment offered by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would classify equity indexed annuities (EIAs) as insurance products, and therefore preempt having EIAs regulated as securities by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) has said that Senator Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) is working on a compromise to the House’s language calling for a fiduciary duty for brokers. Johnson drafted the original language calling for an SEC study of gaps in regulation for advisors and brokers, instead of imposing a fiduciary duty on brokers, as set out in the House bill.
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is also pleased that the conferees have agreed to raise the state investment advisor asset threshold from $25 million to $100 million in assets under management (AUM) and permit state advisors within $25 million to $100 million in AUM that are required to be registered in 15 or more states to remain being examined by the SEC.