Independent researchers seen easing DOL fiduciary burden for brokers
Broker-dealers may take cue from Wall Street maneuvers as regulatory pressure builds
Aug 22, 2016 @ 12:21 pm | By Christine Idzelis | Investment News
Big brokerage firms on Wall Street are shining a light on how broker-dealers may manage their duties under the Labor Department’s new fiduciary rule before it takes effect next year.
UBS Group AG’s wealth management group for the Americas announced in 2015 that Mercer would give it access to 9,000 asset-manager research opinions, a move that helps UBS screen which funds it makes available to its high-net-worth clients. And in May, Bank of America Merrill Lynch expanded its relationship with Morningstar Inc., which will provide due diligence on about 1,000 mutual funds on its platform by the end of 2017.
While the wirehouses say the decisions weren’t prompted by the DOL rule, outside research firms do provide varying levels of support to broker-dealers that will need to demonstrate to regulators that they’re putting clients’ interests ahead of their own when making recommendations for their retirement accounts. Research firms’ services may play an increasingly important role in helping financial firms examine their revenue mix and fund selection.
The well-attended Blue Vault session at the recent National Planning Holdings National Conference was very well received. The value of their products was evidenced by the volume of questions from the attendees. Stacy Chitty, Managing Partner, did an excellent job of explaining the history, strategy and value of Blue Vault data.