The following are summaries of key developments in the investment management industry. Full articles covering these and other topics can be found by following this link.

FINRA CEO Criticizes Department of Labor’s Proposed Regulations on Fiduciary Advice

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Chief Executive Officer Richard Ketchum has criticized a proposal by the U.S. Department of Labor (the Labor Department) that would establish a fiduciary duty applicable to retirement investment advisers.

The Labor Department’s proposal would require retirement investment advisers and their firms to acknowledge formally a fiduciary status and enter into a contract with their customers to commit to the standard. Acting in accordance with the standard would include giving advice that is in the customer’s best interest, and making truthful statements about investments, and their compensation. The Labor Department released the proposal in April 2015.

OCIE Launches Program to Evaluate Retirement Plan Sales Practices

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) recently launched “Retirement-Targeted Industry Reviews and Examinations (“ReTIRE”), an effort by the SEC that will work to better protect retail investors’ retirement funds. Accordingly, ReTIRE will include a targeted review of investment advisors’ and broker-dealers’ retirement planning sales practices.

Through the National Examination Program, OCIE will conduct examinations of SEC-registered investment advisers and broker-dealers under ReTIRE that will focus on certain higher-risk areas of firms’ sales, investments, and oversight processes, with particular emphasis on select areas where retail investors saving for retirement “may be harmed.”

To learn more about these developments and other investment management news, please contact a member of the Ballard Spahr Investment Management Group or the attorney with whom you regularly work. 


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