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SEC Hits the Road to Hear Investors’ Thoughts on Best-Interest Plan

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SEC headquarters in Washington. (Photo: National Law Journal) SEC headquarters in Washington. (Photo: National Law Journal)

The Securities and Exchange Commission is reaching beyond Wall Street for comment on its proposed best-interest regulation for investment advisors and broker-dealers.

The commission announced Friday that Chairman Jay Clayton will be holding a series of roundtable discussions with “Main Street investors” around the country in July so they can “share their views on key questions about their relationship with their investment professional.”

“Our proposed rules are intended to match our rules with investor expectations and it is crucial that we hear directly from the investors themselves on how we can best ensure that result,” said Clayton in a statement.

Roundtables will be held on July 9 in Miami; July 12 in Washington, D.C.; July 17 in Philadelphia; and July 25 in Denver. Times and locations and RSVP forms can be found in the SEC’s announcement and more information is available from Suzanne McGovern at the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at [email protected]. Roundtables have already been held in Houston and Atlanta, according to the SEC.

Before each roundtable, participants will be given a document — Which Type of Account is Right for You – Brokerage, Investment Advisory or Both? — that summarizes a “hypothetical relationship” between an investors and a dually registered investment advisor, outlining the broker-dealer services on one side and investment advisor services on the other.

The relationship summary compares the types of services, obligations of the provider, fees and costs and conflicts of interest of each. Participants will also get a form asking multiple questions for their feedback on the relationship summary.

Investors and others can also comment on Regulation Best Interest, as it’s called by the SEC, at The deadline for comments is Aug. 7. Clayton told the House Financial Services Committee said he thinks the “lengthy 90-day comment period” is long enough, but when asked recently if it might be extended he said he’ll “see in August.”

— Check out SEC Advice Proposals Take Center Stage on ThinkAdvisor.


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