This article originally appeared on WealthManagement.com by Patrick Donachie.
Industry stakeholders are now looking to Massachusetts to see how aggressively the state enforces the rule and gain insight into how other states may follow suit.
After going into effect in March, Massachusetts’ fiduciary rule is now being enforced. Financial firms, industry and consumer advocates and regulatory experts are now looking to regulators in the Bay State to see how it unfolds. Massachusetts’ approach could provide a model for how other states implement their own fiduciary standards.
Amy Greer, a partner with the law firm Baker McKenzie, said on a webinar last week that she believed Massachusetts may try to move quickly on pursuing robust enforcement of the rule, which would not be out of line with the state’s previous approach on other rules.
“I think we can have some expectation that Massachusetts is going to be Massachusetts. They tend to be litigious, though I think that they may take a while to get there,” she said. “But they tend to be different, shall we say, than other regulators in how matters move forward.”
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin originally announced his office was seeking public comments for a state fiduciary rule in the weeks following Regulation Best Interest’s approval by the SEC in June of 2019. At the time, he argued that the SEC had failed to properly protect investors against conflicts of interest, and that Reg BI could not replace a uniform fiduciary standard. Galvin signed off on the rule in December, and after a public hearing in January, the rule went into effect in March.
In a statement to WealthManagement.com, Galvin noted Massachusetts was, thus far, the only state to adopt a fiduciary rule for broker/dealers.
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