Each week we’re giving you our weekly report highlighting the top compliance news articles from various industry news publications. We have selected the most relevant and important news articles related to registered investment adviser ("RIA") compliance and regulatory issues. This week's recap focuses on the Department of Labor ("DOL") fiduciary rule, upcoming ADV requirement changes and increased frequency of Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") advisor exams in 2017. Check back each week for the latest list of top stories.
Here's our top investment adviser compliance articles for the week of July 29, 2017:
- Revised Form ADV Requires Much More Data From Advisers (Author- Mark Schoeff Jr., Investment News)
Investment News' Mark Schoeff Jr. reports, "registered investment advisers will have to provide more client account data and social media information in a revised SEC registration form that will go into effect this fall." These changes were reportedly approved last year in an attempt to increase the amount of data the SEC monitors and to better evaluate market risks. RIA in a Box President, GJ King, believes, "the changes to Form ADV will be the biggest since the document was revised in 2010 to require a narrative overview of an adviser's practice rather than a check-the-box description."
- Number of SEC Advisor Exams Could Go Up 30% This Year (Author-Ted Knutson, Financial Advisor)
Ted Knutson, Financial Advisor reporter, brings us this article on Pete Driscoll, acting director of the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") and his comments that followed the first session of Finra's National Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers in Washington, D.C. at the SEC headquarters. Driscoll believes SEC exams of investment advisors can go up 30% this year. Many OCIE broker-dealer examiners have shifted into investment advisor exam duty which may play a part in the cause of this increase. Finra President and CEO Robert Cook's and SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar's insights on the topic are also reported in Knutson's article.
- A Procrastinator's Guide to the DOL Fiduciary Rule (Author- Steve Niehoff, Financial Planning Association)
Steve Niehoff of the Pension Resource Institute provides a detailed overview of the DOL fiduciary rule that includes anything and everything RIA firms should already be preparing for. On June 9, the fiduciary rule went into "partial implementation". Full implementation is slated for January 1, 2018. Niehoff believes changes should be expected between now and the January 2018 implementation date could be delayed. Niehoff explains duties as a fiduciary under ERISA, prohibited transactions, impartial conduct standards, tips for compliance, and more. Ultimately, Niehoff believes complying with these new standards required by the fiduciary rule "creates an opportunity."
Judge Edith Jones voiced her opinion to the DOL on what she views as "troubled spots" in the fiduciary rule's best interest contract exemption ("BICE") reports Think Advisor's Melanie Waddell. The case consisted of oral arguments brought by nine plaintiffs who oppose the rule. Miller & Chevalier attorney, Erin Sweeney, attended the arguments. Sweeney claims, "Jones probed Labor’s attorney, Michael Shih, with questions on how the BICE could be ‘harmonized’ with the statutory ‘eligible investment advice arrangement’ exemption." Read about the arguments that took place during the case in Waddell's article.
- Fiduciary Rule May Not Be Fully Implemented Until 2019 (Author- Charles Paikert, Financial Planning)
Charles Paikert, Financial Planning Senior Editor, brings us this article on the DOL fiduciary rule and the possible delay of the final implementation date. An ERISA specialist and attorney for Drinker Biddle in Los Angeles, Bruce Ashton, believes the rule's full implementation may be delayed until 2019. There is a 60-day comment period after the DOL submits the revised regulation. Ashton predicts it will take around 12 months and "there may be another transition period after that for firms to react and come into compliance."
Don't forget to check out last week's top RIA compliance news articles on the DOL fiduciary rule and how to establish a succession plan. Be sure to check back next Friday for next week’s top articles!
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