Displaying items by tag: SEC
Given the relative dearth of information about the new DOL and SEC rules, analysis and true insight are hard to come by. However, today we have some interesting and relevant “talk” coming out of those close to the DOL. Evidently Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has de facto taken over the rulemaking processes at the DOL. The Trump administration was apparently unhappy with slow progress at the agency, so Mulvaney was put in charge of oversight and has ultimate say on all decisions. Mulvaney took over his chief of staff position in January and took on this role some time since. What this means is that the White House is now more directly in charge of the DOL than ever.
FINSUM: The rumor of this is from Financial Advisor IQ (which is quite reputable), and it completely makes sense given that the DOL suddenly came out with a concrete timeline for the new rule’s release (December). This seems encouraging for those that opposed the initial rule.
The SEC’s Best Interest rule has been making its way through the regulatory machine without much attention lately. Everyone knows it is looming, but no one has been sure of the timing or what the newest iteration would look like. Well, it is becoming clearer now as the SEC has announced that it will vote on whether to adopt the new rule on June 5th. There are four different items the SEC commission will discuss. Some of them are remnants from the last version, but others like the “solely incidental” item, are not clear.
FINSUM: It looks like we will be able to see the new version of the rule within a few weeks. The SEC was facing a major uphill battle to make the BI rule amenable to all sides, and we shall soon see how much progress they made (and how it might fit with a forthcoming DOL rule 2.0).
The dreaded moment is coming. The DOL has been hinting for some time that it would release a new version of its infamous fiduciary rule, but now we have a concrete timeline. The agency says the new rule will be released in December. It is unclear the extent to which this new rule will sync with the SEC’s best interest efforts, but most seem to think the two rules will dovetail nicely. This will be the third time the DOL has issued a fiduciary rule. The first time was in 2010, then again in 2015 (defeated last year).
FINSUM: No details on how this will look, so hard to speculate. However, given how expansive the rule was last time, we will not be surprised if there are some surprises here.
Not to be outdone by the DOL, the SEC made some comments on its forthcoming Best Interest Rule yesterday. SEC chief Clayton has been tightlipped about the rule and its updates, but yesterday said that it would be out soon, likely much sooner than expected. The expectation has been that the SEC would debut the rule in the fall, but speaking on timelines Clayton said “Wait and see … You won't have to wait long”. Reporters taking note of the comment say he suggested the final rule was imminent.
FINSUM: We bet some unveiling of the final rule happens before Memorial Day. This means the DOL’s updated rule is likely coming very soon as well, as they are working in concert.
In what comes as very disappointing news to many advisors, the DOL has just confirmed worst fears—it is officially bringing the fiduciary rule back. The DOL mentioned this idea in passing last year, but not given formal word on it. However, speaking before Congress yesterday, DOL chief Acosta confirmed that the fiduciary rule was coming back and that the agency was coordinating with the SEC. Acosta declined to give a timeline, but late this year is the anticipated unveiling of the new rule. According to one industry commentator, "We see this as a positive for financial advisers and active [investment] management as the Labor standard is unlikely to include class-action liability”.
FINSUM: It is too early to know if this is good news or bad because no one has clarity on what the DOL is doing. That said, our instinct is the new rule will be less onerous than previously.