Archive for the ‘MarketCounsel’ Category

DOL Adopts 18 Month Delay to Fiduciary Rule

Friday, December 1st, 2017

The US Department of Labor (the “DOL”) formally expended the remaining implementation of the Fiduciary Rule that was scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2018 (“Phase 2”) by 18 months.  The new effective date of Phase 2 is July 1, 2019.

Phase 2 would include full implementation of the Best Interest Contract Exemption (the “BIC” Exemption).  In addition, certain fiduciaries could avoid the full BIC requirements if they only charge a “level fee.”  Many investment advisers could avail themselves of the level fee exemption, but others would find the requirements challenging (such as those advisers that charge different fees for managing different asset classes).  Phase 1 of the DOL Rule, which required fiduciaries (including broker-dealers) to comply with Impartial Conduct Standards, continues to be in effect.

The DOL has said that the delay is meant to allow additional time to consider changes to the rule.  The SEC has also made recent statements regarding the Commission’s plans to consider a fiduciary rule for broker-dealers.  Many people have said that the DOL and SEC should work together on a fiduciary rule.  The federal agencies would also have to work with state insurance regulators to come up with similar insurance rules.  That would be a difficult task.  MarketCounsel believes that the 18-month delay places Phase 2 in jeopardy.

As always, members of MarketCounsel’s compliance management programs can find more information on the DOL Rule and its implementation on RIAglass by searching for other articles on the topic.

“…regulators may take issue with an environment in which clients’ rights are hurt because they have difficulty moving with their advisors.” @HDelux speaks with Alex Padalka @FinAd_IQ.

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Merrill Lynch is likely to follow the example of wirehouse rivals UBS and Morgan Stanley in exiting the Broker Protocol, recruiters tell InvestmentNews. And it could happen within the next three weeks, they tell the publication. But the protocol may survive if for no other reason than a lack of a decent alternative, industry observers say.

Finally, regulators may take issue with an environment in which clients’ rights are hurt because they have difficulty moving with their advisors, Brian Hamburger, founder of MarketCounsel, which helps advisers go independent, tells the news service.

Read more here.

“The only viable solution is for regulators to take note of the impact on clients”… @HDelux talks with @NeilAWeinberg @Bloomberg.

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

The idea of a “protocol 2.0” has been bouncing around for some time, but getting hundreds of members with competing interests to agree on revisions would likely prove a daunting task. And a return to the pre-2004 legal wars could breed animosity and raise costs all around.

Another option would be for the Securities and Exchange Commission to clarify client privacy regulations to define what data departing advisers can take with them, rather than leaving it to the industry, said Brian Hamburger, founder of MarketCounsel, which helps advisers go independent.

“The only viable solution is for regulators to take note of the impact on clients” of barriers involving the movement of advisers, Hamburger said. “Once you lock up clients, or make it difficult to move with advisers, you’re hurting clients’ rights.”

Read more here.

 

“The only thing surprising about UBS’ announcement today is its timing.” @BrookeSouthall @RIABiz features @MarketCounsel and @HamburgerLaw.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

MarketCounsel, a regulatory compliance firm in Englewood, N.J., continues to express its outrage over the perceived sleight of hand by UBS in concert with its law firm, Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C. — the firm that keeps the protocol list — in turning a 10-day warning into a five-day warning.  The firm issued a statement detailing its efforts to gain access to information, which reads in part:

“The only thing surprising about UBS’ announcement today is its timing. Rumors swirled last week that another wirehouse would be withdrawing from the Protocol around Thanksgiving. Yet the Protocol administrator’s weekly update arrived last Monday, Nov. 20 without any major firm withdrawing …. On Monday, Nov. 13 we learned that two additional firms withdrew from the Protocol, however we should have learned about that the week prior, on Nov. 6th and 9, when the two firms actually submitted their respective notices of withdrawal.”

“Bressler stands in conflicted position, serving as counsel to UBS and Morgan Stanley, making it incapable of discharging its duties as Protocol administrator without, as here, protecting its clients in the process. Bressler kept Morgan Stanley’s notable withdrawal embargoed for seven of the 10 days and has presumably now done the same with UBS, making a mockery of the Protocol 10-day notice provision.”

Read more here.

 

@BresslerLaw “hasn’t passed along the notice of withdrawals it has received to the other signatories in a timely manner”. Sharron Ash @HamburgerLaw speaks with @Mike_Thrasher @wealth_mgmt.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

UBS is withdrawing from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting Agreement, making it the second wirehouse and original member of the arrangement to do so after Morgan Stanley withdrew from it in October. UBS did not comment on Bressler Amery Ross’ procedure for publicly sharing the notifications of withdrawals.

“Bressler hasn’t passed along the notice of withdrawals it has received to the other signatories in a timely manner. Worse, this cannot be overlooked as a mere omission,” Ash said in a statement. “Bressler affirmatively refused to disclose withdrawals upon receipt–first ignoring my requests, then after multiple emails and calls, denying my requests.” Ash also said in a statement last week that she learned on Nov. 13 that two additional brokerages had submitted withdrawal letters from the protocol agreement on Nov. 6 and Nov. 9, respectively. But she said the law firm should have notified her legal firm prior to Nov. 13, when Bressler Amery Ross releases its weekly report brokerages joining and leaving the agreement. Hamburger Law Firm helps financial advisors transition from one firm to another, often with a coordinated plan of action to bring clients along with them.

Read more here.

@BresslerLaw “hasn’t passed along the notice of withdrawals it has received to the other signatories in a timely manner”. Sharron Ash @HamburgerLaw speaks with @Mike_Thrasher @wealth_mgmt.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

UBS is withdrawing from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting Agreement, making it the second wirehouse and original member of the arrangement to do so after Morgan Stanley withdrew from it in October. UBS did not comment on Bressler Amery Ross’ procedure for publicly sharing the notifications of withdrawals.

“Bressler hasn’t passed along the notice of withdrawals it has received to the other signatories in a timely manner. Worse, this cannot be overlooked as a mere omission,” Ash said in a statement. “Bressler affirmatively refused to disclose withdrawals upon receipt–first ignoring my requests, then after multiple emails and calls, denying my requests.” Ash also said in a statement last week that she learned on Nov. 13 that two additional brokerages had submitted withdrawal letters from the protocol agreement on Nov. 6 and Nov. 9, respectively. But she said the law firm should have notified her legal firm prior to Nov. 13, when Bressler Amery Ross releases its weekly report brokerages joining and leaving the agreement. Hamburger Law Firm helps financial advisors transition from one firm to another, often with a coordinated plan of action to bring clients along with them.

Read more here.

@BresslerLaw “hasn’t passed along the notice of withdrawals it has received to the other signatories in a timely manner”. Sharron Ash @HamburgerLaw speaks with @Mike_Thrasher @wealth_mgmt.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

UBS is withdrawing from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting Agreement, making it the second wirehouse and original member of the arrangement to do so after Morgan Stanley withdrew from it in October. UBS did not comment on Bressler Amery Ross’ procedure for publicly sharing the notifications of withdrawals.

“Bressler hasn’t passed along the notice of withdrawals it has received to the other signatories in a timely manner. Worse, this cannot be overlooked as a mere omission,” Ash said in a statement. “Bressler affirmatively refused to disclose withdrawals upon receipt–first ignoring my requests, then after multiple emails and calls, denying my requests.” Ash also said in a statement last week that she learned on Nov. 13 that two additional brokerages had submitted withdrawal letters from the protocol agreement on Nov. 6 and Nov. 9, respectively. But she said the law firm should have notified her legal firm prior to Nov. 13, when Bressler Amery Ross releases its weekly report brokerages joining and leaving the agreement. Hamburger Law Firm helps financial advisors transition from one firm to another, often with a coordinated plan of action to bring clients along with them.

Read more here.

#MSUM17 Headliners and faculty announced. The time is now to join us December 4-7 at the iconic Fontainebleau in Miami Beach.

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Read the press release here.

“I think there are a large collection of advisers upset and who feel they have been gamed.” Sharron Ash @HamburgerLaw talks with @JohnAidanByrne @nypost.

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Morgan Stanley has locked the gates to keep its high-priced wealth management brokers from fleeing.

“I think there are a large collection of advisers upset and who feel they have been gamed,” said Sharron Ash, chief litigation counsel for the Hamburger Law Firm. “They joined Morgan [Stanley] under the protocol and now the rug has been pulled out from underneath them. I do expect there is going to be litigation as a result of the Morgan [Stanley] decision,” said Ash. “I don’t think Morgan Stanley is dropping out of the protocol without the intention of enforcing its restrictive covenants.” Ash further stated, “Clients could have their relationships with an adviser of their choice interrupted for a period of time. They may not even be able to find their adviser once they leave a firm.”

Read more here.

Marc Cohen (@mcohen429) speaks to @Wealth_Mgmt at #SchwabIMPACT @Schwab4RIAs.

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Advisor conferences come in all sizes. MarketCounsel’s Marc Cohen compares and contrasts.

Watch here.