Investment managers owe fiduciary duties to clients, including the duty of loyalty and the duty of care. A persistent question, with no clear answer, is what precisely is required by the duties of loyalty and care. In this paper, I argue that much of investment management regulation is a response by regulators to the uncertainty inherent in the fiduciary obligation.
Advisor DNA found in the Advisers Act of 1940 and championed for generations is objective advice. Yet, some reject this bedrock principle.
CFPB is reviewing its “Ethical foundation for CFP certification.” This review is timely. The advice market is undergoing a basic transformation. New technologies, the DOL Rule, more demanding investors and lowering costs are change agents. Higher ethical standards are in demand. CFPB should answer the call and lead.
RIAs DNA of objective investment advice is embedded in the Advisers Act of 1940. What’s often over-looked, however, are differences among RIAs on measures in the Adviser’s Form ADV that serve as ‘fiduciary indicators’. The research identifies some of these indicators and explores some of these differences.
Yale business professor, Daylian Cain, is a prolific researcher on conflicts of interest. His notoriety in investment advice policy circles was further enhanced when the Obama administration cited his work in 2015, as it argued for the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule.
In June 2016, Cain offered a quick (seven minute video) synopsis of his thinking. The video can be found here.
One key point in professor Cain’s synopsis highlighted in this one-page summary deserves special attention. It underscores why a policy of avoiding conflicts is far superior to a policy of accepting and disclosing conflicts. The point is the potential impact of conflicts on everyone. As Cain notes, “Yet, (its not just the bad apples)… normal people are also capable of really bad behavior.”
The force behind the DOL rule reflects the “shared mission” and question that attracted the financial planning founders in 1969: Can advice replace sales as the industry “driving force?