The pursuit of a uniform fiduciary standard for both brokers and independent advisors will come back to the forefront in 2013.
The SEC will also pursue continual assessments of how to better harmonize advisor and broker rules when they provide similar services.
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Newly appointed SEC commissioner Elisse Walter, who will succeed Mary Schapiro during the search for a new permanent commissioner, has sided with Schapiro and Democratic commissioner Luis Aguilar on the need for the rule.
Schapiro announced in September that she was ready to move forward with a proposed rule and place it out for comment to the public to gather a more informed cost-benefit analysis of the new fiduciary rule’s implementation.
But there has been disagreement among the five commissioners this year on what questions to ask in eliciting such analysis.
There are also multiple areas that are likely to get caught in a 2-2 deadlock among commissioners on issues that come up, including the fiduciary rule.
Other aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act, among which the uniform fiduciary rule
is suggested but not mandated, have to do with disclosure, restriction of certain sales practices, conflicts of interest, and compensation for brokers, dealers, and investment advisors.