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Cetera Says It, Too, Will Keep Commissions in Retirement Accounts

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Just days after Raymond James Financial (RJF), Ameriprise Financial (AMP) and Morgan Stanley (MS) said they planned to keep offering commission-based products and services in retirement accounts, Cetera Financial Group stated that it is sticking with this strategy as well.

“Cetera Financial Group is focused on supporting choice and flexibility for retail investors in working with their financial advisors,” the company explained in a statement shared with ThinkAdvisor. “As such, we will continue to support and enable the use of approved commission-based investments in retirement accounts as part of our suite of DOL-compliant solutions.”

This policy affects all independent broker-dealers in the group: Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities and Summit Brokerage Services. The group includes roughly 8,500 affiliated advisors.

(RelatedThe BICE Is Not a DOL Fiduciary Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card)

Also last week, IBD Commonwealth Financial joined Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) in stating that it would stop offering commission-based products and services in retirement accounts as of April 10, 2017.

In a memo on Monday, Cetera Advisors President Erinn Ford told affiliated reps that the IBD does not intend to take that path and is working with fund firms to fulfill the requirements of the DOL fiduciary rule in order to keep commission-based products in IRA accounts on the Cetera platform.

On Thursday, Cetera Financial Group said it was rolling out a new practice-management analytics tool, iAnalyze, to integrate account information, asset levels and other data for each client, so that advisors can “gauge the adjustments needed … to bring [accounts] into compliance with these new regulatory standards,” it explained.

The IBD group says it is introducing iAnalyze in two phases; the first phase was wrapped up in September, while the second of which should be completed by Dec. 31.

“The tool will facilitate end-to-end guidance and support that will enable advisors to understand the numerous paths to achieving compliance for each impacted account, thus creating a roadmap with a variety of specific options for each client and account,” the firm said in a press release.

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