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Outgoing Commish Slams DOL’s Fiduciary Rule, Defends SEC’s Version

May 29, 2018

Outgoing SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar has nothing good to say about the DOL’s fiduciary rule but defends the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest, according to InvestmentNews.

"I think it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rule,” he said of the DOL’s rule at the Investment Company Institute’s annual conference in Washington last week, the publication writes.

The rule, which purported to require retirement account advisors to put clients’ interests first, went into partial effect last summer but was vacated by an appeals court in March. “What it really was was a politicized tool from the beginning to enable trial lawyers. It set up an unworkable, impossible set of standards for people to comply with.”

Piwowar, who’s leaving the SEC July 7 after five years on the commission, also defended the SEC’s own version of a best-interest rule for the industry — the so-called “Regulation Best Interest” released last month to much criticism from many corners of the advice industry and even fellow commissioner Kara Stein.

When Paul Schott Stevens, the ICI’s president, began his questions to Piwowar by calling the SEC’s proposal “one of its highly terse and laconic 1,000-page releases,” Piwowar responded, "It’s almost as long as your comment letters," according to InvestmentNews.

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Piwowar said the SEC could have explained things better in its proposal but that “it was important to get things out,” the publication writes. He did think that the advisor relationship disclosure proposed by the SEC was too long, but that the comment process would help it, according to InvestmentNews. During an open meeting earlier this month, Piwowar also said the disclosure didn’t clearly show clients when they were dealing with broker-dealers rather than investment advisors, as reported.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the InvestmentNews article cited in this story, click here.