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SEC pushed to stress ‘fiduciary duty’ in forthcoming rules

Joe Mont | November 8, 2018

For months, the Securities and Exchange Commission has struggled to keep a problematic “F-word” out of proposed rulemaking regarding professional advice for retail investors: “fiduciary.”

Now, with a 16-3 vote by members of its Investor Advisory Committee, a more fiduciary-focused set of standards might be in the offing. It is urging that forthcoming rulemaking “be characterized explicitly as, a fiduciary duty.”

In the waning days of the Obama administration, the Department of Labor issued its own fiduciary rule, one that outlined standards and expectations for investment advisers. In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of plaintiffs who challenged its legality, arguing that the agency exceeded its statutory authority.

Amid the legal wrangling, many industry professionals questioned the...

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