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NEW UPDATE -- SEC Throws Its Hat In The Ring


Thur April 19, 2018


In days of old, boxing matches used to be circular spaces in a crowd of onlookers, rather than the square, roped 'rings' of the contemporary sport.  Any challenger who fancied his chances in a bout would throw in his hat— which was a more reliable way of putting oneself forward than just shouting over the din of the crowd.


Yesterday, in a 4-1 vote, the five SEC commissioners voted in support of a proposed package of rulemakings and interpretations supporting new standards of conduct for investment professionals, effectively announcing their willingness to enter the fight.

NEW UPDATE -- SEC Holds Open Meeting


Thur April 12, 2018


Securities and Exchange Commission will hold an Open Meeting on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at 3:30 p.m to discuss the matters to be considered related to the SEC fiduciary proposal.

The subject matters of the Open Meeting will be the Commission’s consideration of:


  • whether to propose new and amended rules and forms to require registered investment advisers and registered broker-dealers to provide a brief relationship summary to retail investors.
  • whether to propose a rule to establish a standard of conduct for broker-dealers and natural persons who are associated persons of a broker-dealer when making a recommendation of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities to a retail customer.
  • whether to propose a Commission interpretation of the standard of conduct for investment advisers.


Fiduciary March Madness


Thur March 22, 2018


By now, everyone is aware that the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the 5th Circuit vacated the entirety of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule on Thursday last week.   Marking the Rule’s first loss in the courts, the split 2-1 decision against the DOL could be the last second “buzzer-beater” that the Rule’s detractors have been hoping for.  And for the Rule’s proponents, a heart-breaking loss after being ahead (in the courts) for most of the game.


For those wildly celebrating last week’s decision, unlike the popular NCAA Basketball Tournament that consumes our collective attention each March, this kind of contest is not necessarily a single-elimination competition.  Last week’s Fifth Circuit Court ruling still may not spell the absolute end of this contest for the Department of Labor.


In addition, there are a number of important happenings among other regulators that may affect how we are required to operate.  This post is intended to provide updates on what’s next for the DOL and the important developments at other regulators.

No Delay -- Feels Like Groundhog Day


Tue May 23, 2017


While opponents of the Rule are likely disappointed, at least we now have certainty about what to expect and what we are required to do in the near term.  And, it is hard to argue that the reduced requirements for complying with the Rule between June 9th and the end of this year (the “Transition Period”) are unworkable or overly cumbersome.


That said, the reality laid out in Acosta’s article is that we may be in for our own Groundhog Day type experience with respect to what will happen next...

The Fiduciary Delay -- A Surprise Inside for Annuities


Wed April 5, 2017


The first tip off that there might be more to it was that the Final Rule to Extend the Applicability date of Fiduciary Rule and its related exemptions is 63 pages long. Granted, there is a good deal of boiler plate language, background notes and rationale which adds to the page count.  However, it did seem that the large number of pages were there to describe something a bit more than, “we going to take 60 more days to look at this”....

The Proposal to Delay the Applicability Date of the Fiduciary Rule


Thurs March 23, 2017


The public comment period for the proposed 60-day delay of the applicability date of the Fiduciary Rule concluded last Friday on March 17th.  The Department of Labor (DOL) is now reviewing the comments it received through that process and preparing a final rule to delay.   Once the final rule to delay is ready, it will be re-submitted to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for its review and approval.

A Fiduciary Love Story, Delayed?


Thurs March 9, 2017


It has now been about a week since the DOL published its most recent proposal to delay the coming applicability date of the new Fiduciary Rule and its related exemptions.  It strikes me that many of us are probably growing weary of reading the continued swarm of articles and opinions on this subject.  While helpful, the flurry of coverage can sometimes blend one’s perception of what is fact versus what is opinion- leaving many with a blurred understanding of where we currently stand...


A New Hope for Rule Advocates?


Tues February 28, 2017


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced today that it has concluded its review of a requested delay of the applicability date of the fiduciary regulation, as submitted by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) on February 9th...


Exit Stage Left


Fri February 17, 2017


A New Nominee for Labor Secretary & Implications for delay of the Fiduciary Rule  After four previously delayed dates for his hearing, Andrew Puzder withdrew himself from consideration as the next Labor Secretary on Wednesday this week, the day before his scheduled hearing. Amid mounting controversy over his personal and professional past, it was widely reported that Puzder had lost key support f...


Timing is Everything


Mon February 13, 2017


Late in the day on Thursday, February 9th, Reuters reported that the Labor Department’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) sent two documents related to the Fiduciary Rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. While details of the documents won’t be revealed until OMB approves the notice and publishes them in the Federal Register, it has been reported that one of ...


Summary Update on the DoL's Fiduciary Rule


Thu February 9, 2017


As we expected, it has been an interesting week.  Here is the latest update regarding the fate of the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule: On Wednesday, February 8th, the U.S. Justice Department, representing the Labor Department, asked Texas federal trial Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn to postpone issuing her ruling in the case brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and eight other plaintiffs against the DOL’s Fiduci...


The Delay that Wasn't... At Least for Now


Mon February 6, 2017


As you likely know by now, the early reports from last Friday that the Trump administration was ordering a six-month delay to the implementation of the Fiduciary Rule were not correct. These reports were apparently based on a draft memorandum that included instruction to the DOL to postpone the applicability date of all provisions that were not yet effective. As it turned out, the final memorandum...


DoL Confirms Treatment of Using RMDs to Purchase Life Insurance


Wed January 18, 2017


In the most recent Conflict of Interest FAQs issued from the DOL, the department has finally provided guidance on Advisers recommending the use of RMDs to fund permanent life insurance purchases. Please refer to page 3, question #4 of the FAQ which can be found HERE . In the FAQ, the DOL makes clear that the advice given under this scenario would be considered as covered investment advice under th...


The DOL’s public comment period will close at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24th


September 15, 2016


 If you would like to submit a comment during this final window, you can do so by: Emailing it to and include “RIN 1210-AB32” in the subject line; or Submitting it through the website ; or Sending a letter to: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labo...


An Update on the DOL's Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule


September 11, 2016


This week, the Department of Labor ("DOL") has made the transcripts and webcasts available related to the recent public hearings that took place over the week of August 10, 2015. As you may know, the release of this information starts a final two-week comment period on its controversial proposed conflict of interest rule...


 DOL Announcement Coming April 16th


April 1, 2016


The WSJ is reporting today that the Obama administration is set to unveil the final DOL Fiduciary Advice rule next Wednesday, April 6th at 11:30am.With many supporters and detractors, the new rule will impose new limits on how brokers and financial advisers offer financial advice to people saving for retirement and will have significant impacts on our business.  For sure, next week will be filled with rants and raves, commentary...


Fiduciary Rule Insights -- A New Publication


March 1, 2016


Through the support of Saybrus Partners, Saltzman Associates is publishing a series of complimentary papers that outline the main provisions and impacts of the new fiduciary rule as they relate to financial institutions and their continuing efforts to provide annuity solutions to clients.Our series of papers cover the following topics and will be published

each month as follows...


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