Timing is everything in Washington, and some of the industry's veteran lobbyists say the road to closely watched new regulation is becoming clear.
Kevin Carroll, who runs the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), says a universal fiduciary rule for all investment advisors could happen by the end of the year.
However, he sees too many distractions on Congress for lawmakers to take on the question of who will regulate RIA firms before 2013 or so.
He's optimistic about RIAs moving toward a self-regulatory organization (SRO) like FINRA, but then, most of his group's members are already FINRA-regulated anyway.
One surprise: Matthew O'Toole, who helps run the SEC's advisor exams in the San Francisco office, acknowledges that FINRA could end up monitoring advisors as well.