JANUARY 26, 2016 | By James J. Green, Group Editorial Director | Investment Advisor Group
Dale Brown: ‘We’re not ruling out any actions’ to stop rule’s implementation
The Financial Services Institute’s annual OneVoice conference for broker-dealer home office personnel is part family gathering and part sizing up the competition, but always a celebration of the independent broker-dealer business model, particularly its advocacy successes. When it comes to FSI’s top advocacy priority of the last few years — the Department of Labor’s redefinition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act — there was no celebrating at this year’s conference in Orlando. However, FSI’s advocacy leaders vowed to keep fighting, though they also counted advocacy successes in 2015.
At an early-morning meeting with the media on Tuesday, president and CEO Dale Brown said that fight was a success, citing FSI members who he said sent “thousands” of messages to regulators and legislators opposing the rule. When asked by a reporter why FSI “lost” its fight, Brown replied that President Barack Obama’s support for the rule “was a game changer,” helped by continued “gridlock” in Congress. “We’ll continue to champion a fiduciary standard” for advice givers, he continued, but reiterated that DOL’s “proposal as written is unworkable.” When asked by another reporter if FSI would consider taking legal action against the rule, Brown said “we’re not ruling out any action.”
The Blue Vault Summit could not have been more perfectly timed. This gathering of the Broker Dealer and Sponsor communities provided insightful and open discussion from several vantage points. These conversations are paramount, especially in a time of significant regulatory change.