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All eyes in the advisory world were on Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington on Wednesday, as the agency voted on the controversial Regulation Best Interest for brokers, part of the securities regulator’s four-pronged advice standards package. ThinkAdvisor’s Washington bureau chief, Melanie Waddell, provided live updates on the vote on this page below.

(Related: A Timeline of the Contentious Fiduciary Rules)

(The content below appeared prior to Wednesday’s vote)

There will be four separate votes. “Some may be unanimous and some may be 3-1 votes,” notes David Tittsworth, the former head of the Investment Adviser Association who’s now an attorney with Ropes & Gray in Washington.

As to Reg BI, Tittsworth sees the final Reg BI draft as providing “greater clarity around what the ‘best interest’ standard means in actual practice and the number and specific disclosures that will be required.” The SEC and FINRA “support a higher standard of care for brokers,” Tittsworth adds, so “the details of how that will be accomplished will be one of the most important aspects of the new rules.”

According to the SEC meeting agenda, here’s how the voting will go:

Item 1: Regulation Best Interest – Standard of Conduct for Broker-Dealers

Item 2: Form CRS Relationship Summary

Item 3: Standard of Conduct for Investment Advisors

Item 4: Interpretation of “Solely Incidental”

(The interpretation of “solely incidental” is “a new part of the rulemaking package,” according to Karen Barr, president and CEO of the Investment Adviser Association.)


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