In a move highlighting his unflinching support for a fiduciary standard, Massachusetts's top securities cop has proposed that investment advisors be required to present clients with a “simple, digestible” one-page fee table, according to news reports.
Under the proposal from the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, investment advisors would need to break out their various charges on a standalone document and be required to present it to clients before they sign any contract and then again annually, as required with Form ADV, FA-IQ sister publication Ignites writes.
The one-page table would merely summarize what’s already available on Form ADV Part 2A, according to the publication. But the document would enable financial advice clients to do comparison shopping in a more straightforward way, given the proliferation of new fee structures such as retainers, subscriptions, asset-based fees and third-party advice fees, the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin says, according to Ignites.
"The purpose of the fee table is to increase transparency of advisory fees and costs, aid comprehension of advisory fees and costs, and enable investors to make more informed decisions when choosing their investment advisors," the regulator says in a statement cited by the publication.
The proposal’s comment period ends May 3, with Galvin’s office scheduled to hold a public hearing on May 2, Ignites writes.
Galvin has been a vociferous supporter of tougher regulations on broker and investment advisor conduct, going as far as warning the SEC last year that Massachusetts “will be forced to adopt its own fiduciary standard to protect our citizens from conflicted advice by broker-dealers” if the agency’s proposed Regulation Best Interest doesn’t represent a strong fiduciary standard.