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COVID-19's Impact on This Summer's Events, More

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Each year, the July issue of Investment Advisor features profiles of the top-performing asset managers and strategist via our recognition program with Envestnet.

These financial professionals are honored at Envestnet’s annual Advisor Summit, last held in Austin, Texas, in 2019. This year, the award winners will be showcased during the online Envestnet Advisor Summit On-Demand.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were not able to meet the winners in person and did not get to deliver the awards to the top asset managers with a hearty handshake and photo opportunity.

Still, these portfolio managers took the time to review their recent performance and investment processes with us by phone, which proved very insightful.

Their work benefits from the work of many helpful team members, and that’s what it took for us to pull all these informative interviews and elements together for our remote coverage of the Asset Managers and Strategist of the Year Awards in 2020.

Meanwhile, Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell delves into the looming compliance date, June 30, for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS.

As she writes in this month’s The Playing Field column: “Duane Thompson, senior policy analyst at Fi360, told me in mid-June that although brokerage firms and reps ‘are as ready as they’re going to be” to comply with Reg BI, ‘it’s going to be a learning curve.’”

While the SEC’s exam division is willing to work with firms unless an egregious violation is found, “there are ways you can get tripped up on” Reg BI and Form CRS compliance, namely when it comes to disclosure and conflicts, fees and expenses related to Form CRS,” Thompson said.

In this year’s Presidents Poll, highlighted in our May issue, 54% of broker-dealer executives said their firms are very prepared for Reg BI, 43% said they are somewhat prepared, and the remaining 3% said are not very prepared. Also, 94% of executives surveyed indicated that their BDs plan to spend more on compliance in 2020 vs. 2019.

As we go to print, the U.S. has some 2.2 million cases of COVID-19 and nearly 119,000 deaths from it. In Texas, where I’m living, over 4,000 new cases were diagnosed on June 16.

The pandemic remains a constant in our lives, as protests over the May 25 killing of George Floyd and in support of the Black Lives Matter continue.

In these rapidly changing and unprecedented times, we wish you a healthy and safe summer. Please send us any of your own news or views on advisor-related topics to [email protected].