The Department of Labor’s (DOL) final fiduciary rule released last week may create some side effects for the managed account industry, attorneys say. However, the rule's implications for investment advisory program sponsors and managers may be less onerous than some had anticipated based on the earlier proposal.

It doesn’t appear that managed account sponsors will be forced to adopt a single client fee-schedule across all of their different advisory programs under the rule, says Mark Costley, an attorney with Ballard Spahr. "I don’t think it’s reasonable to think that platform providers are going to make it so that every one of their programs are uniformly priced, because they provide different services," he says.

However, sponsors will have to develop appropriate policies to ensure advisors remain compliant, and keep documentation of why a decision is in a client’s best interest when they select a higher-fee program over a lower-fee option.