Wealth Management


Smaller broker-dealers around the nation are grossly underprepared for the forthcoming Regulation Best Interest. In early April, the SEC decided not to extend the implementation date of the rule because of COVID, which means all firms will need to be ready by June 30th. However, most small broker-dealers are so focused just trying to stay in business, that most are delaying any actions that will help help for the rule. The SEC has said it will take circumstances into account when enforcing the rule.

FINSUM: One of the big issues besides COVID, is that there is a high degree of complacency about the new rule because many think “I prepared for the DOL rule, so we should be covered for this”. However, there are some important distinctions with this rule (e.g. retail investor vs retail customer), and many could find themselves in hot water.

(New York)

An update to the SEC’s FAQs page has made something abundantly obvious—the title of “advisor” or “adviser” is about to get a lot more contentious. As part of its new Reg BI package, the SEC is bringing in additional rules around the use of titles. Regarding “advisor”, which is completely ubiquitous, the new rules are pretty clear: you cannot call yourself an “advisor” or “adviser” unless you are registered as an investment advisor. Another important note on this, according to Barron’s, “Broker-dealers that are affiliated with RIAs are generally prohibited from using the terms”.

FINSUM: This is a huge disruption to the lingua franca of the industry, but a big boon to investment advisors. Makes us wonder how much the public will actually care.

(New York)

New data is out showing which independents are gobbling up the most new recruits in the wealth management space. The overall picture emerging is that while April was a very slow month for changes, Raymond James and LPL are striding ahead of the competition through acquisitions and advisor recruiting. LPL has gotten 59 new recruits to join this year, while Raymond James has managed 20, worth $4 bn and $2.8 bn in AUM respectively. Some usual suspects have been absent so far this year. For instance, Advisor Group has lost more than 25 advisors to LPL in 2020 without announcing a single new advisor joining the network.

FINSUM: LPL and Raymond James have done a great job keeping their recruiting wallets open during this tough time. We expect the relationships they are building right now will keep their pipeline strong for the rest of the year.

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