Institute Initiatives

Research, educational and advocacy initiatives to promote the fiduciary standard for investment advisers



  • September 7, 2017 – A Debate On The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Affirmative Statement and RebuttalKnut Rostad debates Tom Hegna, a financial expert, author, and speaker, on the merits of the DOL rule, and on the practicality and reasonableness of its requirements.
  • September 6, 2017Luis Aguilar Advisor TitlesFormer SEC Commissioner, Luis A. Aguilar, discusses the importance of the SEC using title-based rulemaking to uphold a uniform fiduciary standard in investment advice.
  • September 6, 2017 – Broker/Advisor “Titles”: Potential Rulemaking at the SEC: discussion slides (pdf) and webcast replay (registration required)Knut Rostad presents on why rulemaking on titles within the financial services industry is needed to comply with FINRA Rule 2210 and to fulfill the mission of the Advisers Act of 1940.
  • August 15, 2017  – CFP ConflictsCFP Board’s revisions to their standards are a good step, but more needs to be done. Conflicts of interest should be recognized as inherently harmful, and there must be enforcement of standards.
  • July 24, 2017 – DOL COI Rule ‘Ain’t no place for Sissies’Knut Rostad speaks on why the DOL COI rule is rigorous, and more importantly, reasonable. He outlines why it is consistent with law, logic, common sense, and what retirement beneficiaries want.
  • July 20, 2017 – Webinar on Best Practices Affirmation ProgramThe Garrett Planning Network holds a webinar on the Institute’s Best Practices Affirmation Program. Sheryl Garrett says the program providers much-needed clarity to help investors know what to expect from a fiduciary advisor.
  • June 14, 2017 – CFPB Standards: “The Ethical Foundation for CFP Certifications”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.
  • March 22, 2017Why the Fiduciary Standard Matters to ClientsBest Practice Advisors speak out concretely on why they formed their RIA, the differences between brokers and advisors, and what avoiding (sharply contrasted with merely accepting and disclosing) conflicts means for their clients.
  • January 30, 2017 Best Practices Affirmation Program WebinarThe Institute hosts a webinar with Knut Rostad, Dan Moisand, and Brian Hamburger to discuss the importance of the Best Practices Affirmation Program, as well as regulatory concerns surrounding the program.


  • September 29, 2016  – Myths and Realities of Investor Distrust: Causes and Cures (Webinar)A webinar featuring industry leaders discussing research and analysis on investor sentiments on finance, advisors, and robo advisors, as well as concrete practices on what advisors can do to address investor skepticism and distrust.
  • May 24, 2016Institute Launches the Campaign for InvestorsThe Institute launches its Campaign for Investors, a groundbreaking initiative to help investors find financial advisors who best meet their needs and serve their interest first.
  • May 23, 2016What is Good Advice?This Institute working paper examines the question central to the 2016 fiduciary debate: “What is Good Advice?” Regulatory, technological, and market forces remind us of why the foundation for such “good advice” must be disinterested advice.
  • May 3, 2016 – Putting Investors First PresentationIn this presentation, Knut Rostad calls on CFA Orlando members to think big about ‘Putting Investors First’ month and to make Orlando “Investors’ Best City in America” for investment and financial advice.


  • September 30, 2015 – Fiduciary Best Practices Briefing (Invitation)The Institute releases a finalized version of Best Practices, while industry leaders provide a timely, insider’s perspective on how Best Practices fit into the ongoing fiduciary debate.
  • September 30, 2015 – Remarks of Knut A. Rostad Release of the Best Practices for Financial Advisors (Transcript)In association with NAPFA, the Institute releases its Best Practices for Financial Advisors. Rostad explains why the industry and investors need Best Practices and calls on Merrill Lynch to lead the brokerage industry by embracing them.
  • September 23, 2015 – Survey of Brokers and Advisers Reveals Support for DOL COI BICE Requirements, Even if they’re “Burdensome” (News Release)A and Institute survey demonstrates that brokers support key aspect of the Department of Labor’s COI BICE requirements, despite saying they are difficult and burdensome to implement.
  • September 8, 2015 – Fiduciary September 2015: Conference Call September 10th on Best Practices (News Release)Institute board members consider final edits to the Best Practices and discuss several key issues the practices have raised in deliberations with members of the media, advisors, and brokers.
  • September 8, 2015 – SEC Commissioners Luis A. Aguilar’s and Daniel M. Gallagher on Fiduciary Duty (Paper)Two SEC Commissioners will soon depart the SEC at a time of unprecedented focus on fiduciary duties. Commissioner Aguilar and Commissioner Gallagher have sharply different visions of those duties, as is evident in their statements.
  • September 2, 2015 – Fiduciary September 2015 Underscores Historic Time for Fiduciary Advice. (News Release)Fiduciary September 2015 is launched at “a moment in time as historic as 1940,” the birth of the Investment Advisors act. Scheduled events are outlined in detail.
  • August 11, 2015 – TD Ameritrade Institutional to be Exclusive Sponsor of Institute’s Fiduciary September 2015 Program. (Press Release)
  • August 4, 2015 – David Swensen, Yale University Chief Investment Officer, Wins Frankel Fiduciary Prize. (Press Release)
  • July 22, 2015 – Institute applauds historic DOL rule proposal; Urges DOL to listen to Industry suggestions that do not weaken fiduciary requirements. (Comment Letter)
  • July 14, 2015 – Institute to Hold 40 Act Panel Discussion in NY August 11 (News Release)
    The Institute announces an invest to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
  • July 10, 2015 – SEC Investor Advocate Speaks Out Against Weakened Standard in Fiduciary Rulemaking (Report Excerpt)Rick A. Fleming, SEC Investor Advocate, submitted the Office of the Investor Advocate’s annual report, which discusses fiduciary duty and how the SEC may approach the issue.
  • July 9, 2015 – Fiduciary Institute Establishes Chairman’s Council to Advise on Roll-out of Best Practices (Press Release)
  • May 5, 2015 – Frankel Fiduciary Prize Selection Committee Seeks Nominations for Frankel Prize Honoring Individuals Making ‘Significant Contributions to Fiduciary Principles in Public Life’ (Press Release)


  • August 4, 2014 – Gary Gensler, Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman, Wins Frankel Fiduciary Prize. (Press Release)
  • June 24, 2014 -Institute President Knut A. Rostad to speak in New York July 28 on DOL Rule with Industry execs. (Event Flyer)
  • May 13, 2014 -Fiduciary Institute to Craft Fiduciary Best Practices That Investors Want (Press Release)
  • May 1, 2014 -Frankel Fiduciary Prize Selection Committee seeks nominations for Frankel Prize (Press Release)
  • March 27, 2014 -Rostad Speaks to New York County Lawyers Association (Presentation)


  • December 5, 2013 – John C. Bogle Legacy Book Launches with December 5 Panel Discussion (press release)
  • October 31, 2013 – Frankel Fiduciary Prize and Symposium Honors Robert A. G. Monks December 10 in Washington (press release)
  • September 3, 2013 – Institute Celebrates Fiduciary September 2013 (press release)
  • July 21, 2013 – Institute for the Fiduciary Standard announces winner of Frankel Fiduciary Prize (press release)
  • July 5, 2013 – Institute for the Fiduciary Standard urges SEC to not neuter fiduciary standard (Public Comment Letter)
  • May 7, 2013 – Institute establishes Industry Council to broaden participation in initiatives to defend fiduciary principles (press release)
  • April 23, 2013 – Institute for the Fiduciary Standard establishes Frankel Fiduciary Prize (press release)
  • April 16, 2013 – SEC Chairman Mary Jo White’s first investor protection question: FINO or the authentic fiduciary standard? (press release)
  • March 6, 2013 – Institute comments on the SEC’s call for information to assess whether it should apply a uniform fiduciary standard to broker dealers that requires they act in the best interest of investors. (press release)


  • September 28, 2012 – The Fiduciary Standard, for Advisors and Brokers? The Cato Institute and the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard co-host a panel on applying the fiduciary standard to brokers.
  • August 22, 2012 – John C. Bogle and Paul Volcker Among Financial Industry Leaders Signed on to The Fiduciary Declaration; Urge SEC, DOL and Congress To Apply the Fiduciary Standard To All Advisors, Brokers Fiduciary Declaration (press release) (Signatories’ Bios)
  • May 2, 2012 – Institute on Wall Street Lobby (SIFMA) Proposal:
    Falls Far Short of Investor’s ‘Best Interest’ Standard  (press release), (PowerPoint presentation).
  • April 10, 2012 – Institute for the Fiduciary Standard to SEC: SIFMA proposal harms investors (press release), (letter to SEC).
  • February 3, 2012 – Volcker, Levitt and Gensler Lead Discussion at John C. Bogle Legacy Forum (press release)
  • January 19, 2012 – Prominent Panelists to Focus on Vanguard Founder John Bogle’s Ideas for Restoring Investor Trust at Jan. 31 Forum (press release)


  • December 12, 2011 – John C. Bogle’s Contributions to Investors and the Capital Markets Will Be Honored at Forum of Financial Leaders (press release)
  • October 14, 2011 – Institute Briefs DOL Secretary on Support for Strong Fiduciary Rule, October 13 (Meeting With Department of Labor Secretary Solis)
  • September 19, 2011 – DOL Urged to Keep Focused on Reducing Costs to Investors in Re-proposal, September 19 (Department of Labor meeting press release)
  • September 7, 2011 – Comment Letter to DOL Focuses on challenges of ‘Sellers Exemption’, September 9 (Sellers Exemption Letter to DOL)
  • September 12, 2011 – Fiduciary Forum 2011, Crafting Effective Disclosure – Is It Possible?” Draws Leading Academics and Industry Reps, September 12 (press release)
  • August 22, 2011 – Institute for the Fiduciary Standard Formed by Industry Leaders to Provide research and Education on Vital Role of the Fiduciary Standard in Investment and Financial Advice, August 22 (Institute’s launch press release)