Displaying items by tag: fiduciary rule
The Biden Admin hasn’t been shy about wanting to tighten the regulatory belt on Wallstreet and the financial world, and another step is being taken. The SEC is considering changing the disclosure rules when it comes to acquisitions of public companies by hedge funds. Currently, HFs have a 10-day buying period to which the public doesn’t have to be made aware of a purchase. Chairman Gensler is making it clear they are eying tighter rules when it comes to disclosure. The current rules are over 50 years old and were meant to bring more information symmetry between the public and private investors. The SEC is looking to increase transparency and give the public more time to adjust.
FINSUM: This will definitely give the public an advantage, but we’ll see how the SEC votes when push comes to shove.
Brokers better look out, the SEC has started the new year with a bang. The Commission has mostly been quiet about its potential Reg BI changes since the rule went into effect about 18 months ago. However, a big new warning has come out from Quinn Emanuel’s SEC enforcement practice. There are “strong indications” of much more robust enforcement coming. According to Kurt Wolfe of the SEC Enforcement Practice, “SEC Chair Gary Gensler is under pressure from broad constituencies to show results in the space. For example, at a recent hearing of the Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) encouraged Chair Gensler to ‘take further action to strengthen this rulemaking,”. Further, “the SEC has signaled that regulated firms may not be getting Reg BI right, and senior SEC officials have made it clear that they intend to take an expansive, perhaps aggressive, approach to Reg BI.”
FINSUM: Since Biden took office it has really only been a matter of time until enforcement scaled up. It is now clear that it is coming.
The 2019 Secure Act paved the way for types of assets to be added into 401(k) plans by limiting the legal liability of partners. Since then it’s been a series of new companies announcing the addition of annuities to retirement plans. However, this is a huge chunk of money in the form of a deferred income that advisors won’t necessarily be managing. A growing number of advisory firms are concerned as large amounts of traditional investment being managed by advisors will now be tied up in annuity contracts. A peek behind who the major lobbyist for 2019 secure reveals its mainly insurance companies limiting their liability and existing retirement vehicle supporters like Fidelity. Finally, this could be bad for clients as many institutional investors can get better deals on annuity prices for their clients.
FINSUM: While the care act will undoubtedly affect annuity demand, it could adversely affect advisors in their client’s retirement future.
There have been widespread attempts by the new administration and private financial companies to expand the access to retirement vehicles, but a ‘fiduciary only’ regulation will kill retirement hopes for many low-income communities. Nearly half of black families and almost two-thirds of Hispanic families have no retirement savings account, and a stricter fiduciary rule would make it virtually impossible for these communities to get access to financial securities like annuities which allow them access to guaranteed lifetime income. Previous strict fiduciary rules like in 2016 left 10 million small retirement account owners without financial advisor access and a new rule could have a similar impact. Regulators and public officials should look into alternative approaches if they are interested in building retirement savings in underserved communities.
FINSUM: Unintended consequences of policies most often impact those the policies are seeking to help!
The Security and Exchange Commission just issued a slew of new regulatory changes that would impact current trading standards. New changes could come into vote if they have majority support among the five commissioners and two others. Chairman Gensler stated he wants the public and markets to have fair material information. Essentially there is no public disclosure form when a plan to schedule share purchases takes place which can ultimately give insiders an advantage on the trading block. The research in academia has confirmed these trades are more beneficial in the ability to avoid losses inside a 60-day window.
FINSUM: These changes could lead to substantially less stock buyback plans in the coming years as insiders could face more symmetric returns.