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SEC’s Piwowar Says Best Interest Rules to Be Shaped by Comments

July 3, 2018

The SEC’s proposed changes to broker conduct rules will depend significantly on the public comments the regulator receives in the next few weeks, according to departing Commissioner Michael Piwowar, InvestmentNews writes.

Until Aug. 7, the SEC is accepting public comments on the best interest regulation proposals it unveiled in April.

The regulator has received many comments already but expects more, and they will be critical to the final outcome, Piwowar said, according to the publication.

"A lot of it's going to bear out with the comment period," Piwowar said at a U.S. Chamber of Conference event recently, according to InvestmentNews. "We always take into account comments, but this one in particular, coming in sooner rather than later is going to be helpful to the staff and to the commission.”

Piwowar also said SEC staff will take “a lot of meetings” on the comments this fall and a final SEC vote shouldn’t be expected until next year at the earliest, the publication writes.

In part, this is due to the fact that Piwowar is leaving the commission July 7, so his replacement will need time to catch up, according to InvestmentNews.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on President Donald Trump’s nominee, Elad Roisman, a committee aide, on July 24, the publication writes.

But Democratic Commissioner Kara Stein is scheduled to depart by December as well, according to InvestmentNews. In addition, even though the commission voted four to one to release the proposed changes for public comment, the proposal received criticism even from the commissioners who voted yes, the publication writes.

Nonetheless, Piwowar said both he and his Republican colleague Hester Peirce are in favor of the SEC taking over from the Department of Labor on reforming the investment advice industry, according to InvestmentNews.

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The DOL’s rule, which would have required only retirement account advisors to put clients’ interests first, went into partial effect last summer and was officially vacated last month.

"We're strong supporters of putting something out there to move the conversation from the Department of Labor to the SEC," Piwowar said, according to InvestmentNews. "That, in and of itself, was huge."

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