Displaying items by tag: advisors

Friday, 25 November 2022 06:45

Reg BI a Top Priority for 2023 SEC Exams

According to Richard Best, Head of the Division of Exams at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Regulation Best Interest and the Advisers Act fiduciary duty remains a top priority for 2023 exams. While speaking at the SEC’s National Compliance Seminar, Best said that standards of conduct such as Reg BI and the fiduciary duty “remain top of mind for us.” Best told compliance officers that the Division of Exams is “focused on how broker-dealers and advisors satisfy their obligations under Reg BI and the Advisers Act fiduciary standard to act in the best interest of retail investors and not to place their own interests ahead of retail investors interest.” The exam division publishes an annual priorities letter each year, with the 2023 priorities expected to be issued early next year. The three areas of focus will be ESG-focused investing, private funds, and standards of conduct. For ESG, the SEC will look into whether advisors are accurately disclosing their ESG investing approaches and have implemented policies to prevent violations of federal securities laws.

Finsum:With exam priorities expected to be issued early next year, the SEC has made Regulation Best Interest and the Advisers Act fiduciary duty a top priority for 2023 exams.

Published in Wealth Management

Recruiters and broker-dealer executives are gearing up for one final recruiting push this year before FINRA’s annual pause in registration. Brokers who want to change firms must move before December 22nd. That date is when FINRA halts its registration systems to generate year-end renewal statements. New registration requests for license requests and terminations will stop at 11 p.m. ET on the 22nd and then resume again on January 3rd. In anticipation of the pause, many wirehouse firms have already made plans to transfer licenses well ahead of the December 22nd deadline. For instance, Merrill Lynch set December 7th as its cut-off to prevent any foreseen registration issues. In other words, advisors don't want to be in a situation where have notified their old firms that they’re leaving but are unable to transfer accounts to their new firm. Also adding to the pause in recruiting in December is the preference of advisors to wait until the new year to change firms.

Finsum:Advisor recruiting is expected to temporarily cool down in December ahead of FINRA’s pause in registration on December 22nd. 

Published in Wealth Management

Following Altruist’s recent announcement that is enhancing its Model Marketplace and adding UMA capabilities, the firm has now announced a partnership with ESG firm HIP Investor to provide advisors with access to its Fossil Fuel Free Portfolio models. HIP, which was founded in 2006, manages impact-themed strategies and ESG portfolios for advisors and investors. The addition of the ESG models expands Altruist’s values-based investing offerings. Adam Grealish, Head of Investments at Altruist, stated the following as part of the announcement, " With HIP’s Fossil Fuel Free Portfolios on our platform, advisors can build portfolios for any stage of their ESG journey—from dipping in a toe to full allocations to climate action and impactful investing. Our partnership with HIP Investor represents a cornerstone in our continued expansion into values-aligned and higher-impact investing." The firm is also telling advisors to expect more offerings within its Model Marketplace in the coming months.

Finsum:Altruist continues to expand its Model Marketplace with the addition of Fossil Fuel Free model portfolios managed by HIP Investor. 

Published in Wealth Management
Wednesday, 23 November 2022 03:40

Change – but hardly simply for the sake of it

With advisors increasingly turning to model portfolios, it seems the financial product distribution landscape’s in the crosshairs of transformation, according to broadridge.com.

Particularly significant, they’ve had a big time role in packaged mutual fund advisory programs where an advisor hands off discretionary investment management to an internal investment committee/research team at a distributor.

Of course, one size, as you’ve probably heard, doesn’t fit all advisors, broker/dealers and asset managers throughout the industry. Their lights are lit by different factors to leverage model portfolios, the site continued.

Ah, but at the same time, bear in mind that if you’re a, um, control freak, you might want to think twice about model portfolios. Probably do anyway; think twice that is. Anyway, in going with the portfolios, you surrender some control of your asset management, according to smartasset.com. Then there’s the fact that, as with other investments, if you’re looking for a sure thing in terms of performance, forget about it. 

That’s to say nothing of the additional fees tacked on with model portfolios that would be a non issue if you selected investments on your own. 

Published in Eq: Financials
Tuesday, 22 November 2022 04:37

Reg BI Enforcement Ramping Up

If firms haven’t addressed and mitigated any potential conflicts of interest yet, they better start soon. Both FINRA and the SEC have not only brought their first Regulation Best Interest enforcements this year, but both agencies are promising that they will be ramping up enforcement. Robert Cook, President and CEO of FINRA, warned at the recent ALI-CLE Life Insurance Products Conference in Washington, D.C. that “Anything that would be a violation of the old suitability standard is now going to be a violation under the Reg BI standard.” He also warned firms that there are more Reg BI enforcement cases in the pipeline and said FINRA exams will “continue to evolve in terms of expectations and the depth of what we’re looking for.” Reg BI, which requires that registered reps demonstrate they have put customers’ best interests before their own is an upgrade from the old suitability standard, which only required reps to make sure products and services are appropriate for clients. The SEC has also promised more Reg BI enforcements and is bringing similar cases against investment advisor reps under the fiduciary standard. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently stated, “The ‘interplay’ between Reg BI and the fiduciary standard is important and that the agency will publish a staff bulletin on the topic.”

Finsum:After bringing their first Regulation Best Interest enforcements this year, both FINRA and the SEC are ramping up Reg BI enforcement. 

Published in Wealth Management
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